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1 In this particular case (of 
I.N.A.), obviously there are 
deep political and moral 
considerations that may 
transcend precisely the legal 
issues. It will be in my es- 
timation a mistake to 
assume that the men who 
had joined the Indian 
National Army are to be 
compared with the Quis- 
lings. Certainly those who 
completely reject their 
policy do not consider them 
as Quislings nor as trait- 


Member, British Parliamentary 
Delegation in India. 







Author of 
' Abul Kalam And ', ' N.Uji Sp*k> '. 



Mohanlal Road Anarkali . Kashmere Gate 

Published by 

Brij Lai Pury for Messrs. Atma Ram & Sons, 

All Rights Reserved. 

Printed by Ram Lai Pury at the University Tutorial 
Press, Lai Chand Street, Anarkali, Lahore* 






















Kadam kadam barhaye ja ; 

Khushi ke geet gaye ja ; 
Yeh zindgi hai Quom ki 

Tu Quom pe lutaye ja ; 
Tu Sher-i-Hind age Barh, 

Marne se tu kabhi na dar ; 
Falak talak utha ke sar 

Joshe Vatan barhaye ja ; 
Himmat teri barhti rahe, 

Khuda teri sunta rahe ; 
Jo samne 'tere chareh. 

Tu khak men milaye ja ; 
Chqlo Dilli Pukar ke; 

Qaomi nishan sambhal ke; 
Lai Quille gar ke, 

Lehraye ja, Lehrayeja ; 
Teh zindgi hai Quom ki 

Tu Quom pe lutaye ja. 


No single topic is being talked about so 
much and none which is receiving so much 
sympathy in the country to-day as the Indian 
National Army, its birth, its struggle and its 
downfall and end. A great deal about it has 
appeared in the Press all over the country by 
bits and driblets, but it appears that no effort 
has so far been made to give a complete accout 
of this Movement (for it was nothing else than 
a Movement )in a regular book form. For the 
present volume the Author has tried to make a 
careful study of the Movement and prepared 
this account in the light of the historical facts 
and statements given to the Press by leading 
political authorities, and the evidence which for- 
tunately came to light during the course of the 
first trial of the LN.A. officers in the Red Fort, 
Delhi, which created so much interest in the 
country and stirred the heart of every person 
irrespective of caste, creed, sex and age. The 
Author, in all humbleness, hopes that this little 
piece of work will meet the demand of the 
public to some extent in the absence of any 
coherent account available at the moment. 



Chalo Delhi' 

There, there in the distance beyond that 
river, beyond those hills, lies the promised 
land, the soil from which we sprang the land 
to which we shall now return. 

Hark / India is calling; India's metropolis 
Delhi is calling; three hundred and eighty- 
eight millions of our countrymen are calling; 
Blood is calling to blood. 

Get up, we have no time to lose. Take up 
your, arms. There, in front of you is the road 
that our pioneers have built. We shall march 
along that road. We shall carve our way 
through the enemy's ranks* or if God wills, we 
shall die a martyr's death. 

And in our last sleep we shall kiss the road 

that will bring our Army to Delhi. 

The road to Delhi is the road to Freedom. 

'Chalo Delhi' 

Sabbat Cbandra BOM 



Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose traces the 
history of India's fight for freedom in his Pro- 
clamation of the Azad Hind Government in 
the following graphic words : 

''After their defeat at the hands of the 
British in 1757 in Bengal, the Indian people 
fought an uninterrupted series of hard and 
bitter battles over a stretch of one hundred 
years. The history of this period teems with 
examples of unparalleled heroism and self- 
sacrifice. And, in the pages of that history, 
the names of Sirajuddoula and Mohanlal of 
Bengal, Haider All, Tippu Sultan and Velu 
Tampi of South India, Appa Sahib Bhonsle 
and Peshwa Baji Rao of Mahrashtra, the 
Begums of Oudh, Sardar Shyam Singh Attari- 
wala of the Punjab and last, but not least, 
Rani Laxmibai of , Jhansi, Tantia Topi, 
Maharaj Kunwar Singh of Dumraon and Nana 
Sahib among other the names of ail these 
warriors are for ever engraved in letters of 
gold. . 

"Unfortunately for us, our forefathers 
did not at first realise that the British consti- 
tuted a grave threat to the whole of India and 


they did not therefore put up a united front 
against the enemy. Ultimately, when the 
Indian people w<ere roused to the reality of the 
situation, they made a concerted move and 
under the flag of Bahadur Shah in 1857, they 
fought their last war as free men. In spite of 
a series of brilliant victories in the early stages 
of this war, ill-luck and faulty leadership 
gradually brought about their final collapse 
and subjugation. Nevertheless, such heroes 
as the Rani of Jhansi, Tantia Topi, Kunwar 
Singh and Nana Sahib live like eternal stars in 
the nation's memory to inspire us to greater 
deed* of sacrifice and valour. 

"Forcibly disarmed by the British after 
1857 and subjected to terror and brutality, 
the Indian people lay prostrate for a while 
but with the birth of the Indian National 
Congress in 1885, there came a new awakening. 
Irom 1885 till the end of the last World War, 
the Indian people, in their endeavour to re* 
cover, their lost liberty, tried all possible 
methods namely, agitation and propaganda, 
boycbtt of British goods, terrorism and sabot- 
ageand finally armed revolution. But all 
these efforts failed for a time. Ultimately, in 
1920, when tfee Indian people, haunted by q, 
sense of failure were groping for a new method, 
Mahatma Gandhi came forward with the new 
weapon of % non-co-operation and civil did* 


"For two decades thereafter, the Indian 
peoples went through a phase of intense patri- 
otic activity. The message of freedom was 
carried to every Indian home. Through p&t 
sonal example, people were taught to suffetf, 
to sacrifice and to die in the cause of freedom. 
From the centre to the remotest villages, the 
people were knit together into one political 
organisation. Thus, the Indian people not 
only recovered their political consciousness, 
but became a political entity once again. ; They 
could now speak with one voice and strivte 
with one will for one common goal. From 
1937 to 1939, through the work of the Congress 
Ministries in eight provinces, they gave iprodf 
of their readiness and capacity to administer 
their own affairs. 

"Thus, on the eve of the present World 
War, the stage was set for the final struggle 
for India's Liberation. During the course of 
this war, Germany with the help of her allies 
has dealt shattering blows to our enemy in 
Europe- 1 while Nippon, with the help of her 
allies has inflicted a knock-out blow to our 
enemy in East Asia. Favoured by a most 
happy combination of circumstances, the 
Indian people today have a wonderful op- 
portunity for achieving their national emanci- 

"For ther first time in recent history, 


Indians abroad have also been politically 
roused and united in one organisation. They 
are not only thinking and feeling in tune with 
their countrymen at home, but are also march- 
ing in step with them, along the path to Free- 
dom. In East Asia, in particular, over two 
million Indians are now organised as one solid 
phalanx, inspired by the slogan of Total Mobi- 
lisation. And in front of them stand the 
serried ranks of India's Army of Liberation, 
with the slogan " Onward to Delhi ", on their 

" Having goaded Indians to desperation 
by its hypocrisy and having driven them to 
starvation and death by plunder and loot, 
British rule in India has forfeited the goodwill 
of the Indian people altogether and is now liv- 
ing a precarious existence. It needs but a 
flame to destroy the last vestige of that un- 
happy rule. To light that flame is the task of 
India's Army of Liberation. Assured of the 
enthusiastic support of the civil population at 
home and also of a large section of Britain's 
Indian Army and backed by a gallant and in- 
vincible allies abroad but relying in the first 
instance on its own strength, India's Army of 
Liberation is confident of fulfilling its historic 

" Now that the dawn of freedom id at 
bftfcd, it is the duty of the Indian people to set 


up a Provisional Government of their own, and 
launch the last struggle under the banner of 
that Government. But with all the Indian 
leaders in prison, the people at home totally 
disarmed it is not possible to set up a provi- 
sional Government within India or to launch 
an armed struggle under the aegis of that Gov- 
ernment. It is, therefore, the duty of the 
Indian Independence League in East Asia, 
supported by all patriotic Indians at home and 
abroad, to undertake this task the task of 
setting up a Provisional Government of Azad 
Hind (Free India) and of conducting the last 
fight for freedom, with the help of the Army 
of Liberation (that is, the Azad Hind Fauj or 
the Indian National Army) organised by the 

" Having been constituted as the Provi- 
sional Government of Azad Hind by the Indian 
Independence League in East Asia, we enter 
upon our duties with a full sense of the res- 
ponsibility, that has devolved on us. We pray 
that Providence may bless our work and our 
struggle for the emancipation of our Mother- 
land. And we hereby pledge our lives and the 
lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of 
her Freedom of her welfare, and her exaltation 
among the nations of the world. 

"It will be the task of the Provisional 
Government to launch and to conduct the 


struggle that will bring about the expulsion 
of the British and of their allies from the soil 
of India. It will then be the task of the 
Provisional Government to bring about the 
establishment of a permanent National Gov- 
ernment of Azad Hind constituted in accor- 
dance with the will of the Indian people and 
enjoying their confidence. After the British 
and their allies are over-thrown and until a 
permanent National Government of Azad Hind 
is set up on Indian soil, the Provisional Gov- 
ernment will administer the affairs of the 
country in trust for the Indian people. 

**The Provisional Government is entitled 
to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every 
Indian. It guarantees religious liberty, as well 
as equal rights and equal opportunities to all 
its citizens. It declares its firm resolve to 
pursue the happiness and prosperity of the 
whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing 
all the children of the nation equally and 
transcending all the differences cunningly 
fostered by an alien Government in the past, 

"In the name of God, in the name of 
bygone generations who have welded the 
Indian people into one nation, and in the dame 
of the dead heroes who have .bequeathed to 
us a tradition of heroism and self-sacrifice we 
call upon the Indian people to rally round 
our banner and strike for India's freedom. We 


call upon them to launch the final struggle 
against the British and all their allies in India 
and to prosecute that struggle with valour and 
perseverance and with full faith in Final 
Victory until the enemy is expelled from 
Indian soil and the Indian people are once 
again a Free Nation." 

For many years before the formation of 
of the Indian National Army the currents of 
events in India had been reverberating in the 
Far East, and the struggle for India's Indepen- 
dence had been regularly carried on by the 
Indian residents of Japan, China and the 
South-East Asiatic countries on national lines. 
In Japan the Indian Independence League had 
been organized by Rash Behari Bose, the 
veteran revolutionary, who, according to the 
Sedition Committee Report, had been respon- 
sible for many bomb .outrages and conspiracies, 
and for whose arrest a reward of 'twelve 
thousand rupees had been offered by the 
Government of India. Rash Behar\ Bose had, 
therefore, left India for Japan in 1915 where, 
.under the sponsorship of the Japanese Govern- 
ment he had formed and conducted the Indian 
(Independence League. 

The preparations of the Japanese towards 
their domination of the world had. net yet 
become manifest to the people at terge. For 
this end in view they directly and indirectly 


encouraged Indians in the Far East to esta- 
blish branches of the Indian Independence 
League to do nationalistic propaganda work 
from various centres in Japan, China, and 
South-East Asia, "For twenty years", says 
John Goette, "the Japanese have been groom- 
ing every dissident Indian they could encourage 
to come into their territory. They openly 
sponsored annual conventions of Indian ele- 
ments under some fancy name of Pan-Asiatic 
solidarity. These were held in Dairen in 
Japanese-leased Manchuria long before the 1931 
occupation." It is a fact that the ground- 
work of the 'hakko ichiu* (World Domination) 
ideology had been laid many years before 
Japan openly declared her intentions of domi- 
nating the Asiatic continent, and in this respect 
it is correct that she trie.d to win over every 
Asiatic, whether Indian or otherwise who 
happened to be a subject of her enemies. As 
far as India is concerned, it is understood that 
Indian residents in Japan and othqr Far 
Eastern qpuntries had their national organiz- 
ations which did considerable propaganda for 
the independence of India. The activities of 
Bash Behari Bose received further imjfctus 
through Dr. Menon and Mr. Raghavan, who 
similarly advocated India's right for freedom in 
Malaya. In China and Siam Ananda Mohan 
Sahay and Swami Satyanand Puri organized 
the Indian National Associations and infused a 
new spirit in the movement by carrying on ML 


mtepsive propaganda for India's independence. 
Thijusf, before the World War II there existed 
well-established national organisations of 
Indians in every country IQ the far East. , , 

>' In 1937 a Conference of Indian nationalises 
was hpld at Tokyo wherein all leading wgrkejs 
inclpdii^g Bash Behari 3ose, Swami Saty anand 
iui* Ananda Mqhan Sahay, ^dar Hari. Sii^gh 
and Giani Pritam Swg^ t participat^iL wpfl 
decided to intensify the Indian Independence 
propaganda in Siam, Malaya ami Bijrm* by 
opening TPW*. .peptres of actiyi^iepj A?L^9e 
countries. Consequently strong anti T Bjcjtisli 
propaganda, supported indirectly pf course by 
the Japanese Government, wa^s launphed all 
'over the Far East, and as a result* thereof 
bitter feelings against the British germinated 
anw>ng a vast majority of Indiana, in , these 

With clear and definite plans Japftn 
war on America and British on December 

attacked Pearl Harbour with a light- 
eh^, given ample w 
t her designs on Peari 
, Netherla^d Ea^t Indies, Ho 
ippines, ,purmaan4 India 

r rl proclapaations as well as private pubii 
and clarified *the vast ppUxjy of cone 

East Asi%\ Tha ocp^patipp 
Inda-China bv the Japanese tcoons . After 

18 THB 8TOBT Of I.K.A. 

the collapse of France, had opened the back- 
door to Singapore. While the politicians of 
England and America waited for Japan to 
'exhaust with almost mathematical certainty 9 , 
she made most of the time by concentrating 
her forces and consolidating her position for 
tearing through the Far East. And while the 
Attention of her enemy was diverted towards 
Europe, she influenced the Thai Government to 

open the land frontiers of Malaya for her. 


Atifl theh, with a thoroughly planned pto- 
gratbttte General T. Yamashitfe led his seasoned 
vfcterttos towards 'the impotent, seaward-point- 
ed guns of the Singapore naval base 9 through 
the jungles of Malaya* "On 8th February", 
Writes General Gordon Bennett in his account, 
"the positions to be attacked Were bombarded, 
the unmolested Japanese air force bombing 
roads, headquarters and troop concentrations 
throughout the day. Desultory artillery fire 
was directed against the island until 5 p.m. 
when a he&Vy fire was concentrated on the first 
and second lines. This fire developed consider- 
ably at 10 p.m. when the Jaaqese embarked 
on their boats hitherto concealed' in the mang- 
twe swamps at the mouths of the rivers flc 

luttt the Strait of Jtfhore. They traversed the 
ttJ0 yards across the strait under heavy artillery 
file from the British guns. Several boats were 
funk and many lives lost. The Japanese 
tskimed that their difficulties were beyond 


imagination and that the resistance was strong 
in spite of their heavy Bombardment/* Tfce 
Japanese entered the island of Singapore, and 
nothing could save the disaster. 

On February 15, 1942 the Japanese Sun fell 
over the British Lion. Singapore was lost and 
with it their years' of labour and millions of 
dollars worth investment were gone within 
h&rdly a week's time* "On the morning of 
February 16, 1942", states Captain Shah Nawaz 
Khan, "when we were marching to our concen- 
tration area, our Commanding Officer, Major 
Macadam, along with other British officers 
came to see ths battalion and shaking hands 
with me he said : 'I suppose this is the parting 
of ways/ These words confirmed my belief 
that we Indians were being left in the lurch," 

At Fairer Park Lieutenant-Colonel Hunt, 
representing the British Government, handed 
over the Indians to Major Fujiwara, the Com* 
mander of the Japanese Intelligence Department 
aftor due ceremony. Calling the parade to 
attention, Colonel Hunt spoke on the micro- 
phone: "Today I, on behalf of the British 
Government, hand you over to the Japanese 
eat who^e carders you will obey aa you 

Major ftujiwara took over cjwge pf about 
lp,00p Jwtyn army officers and other 


on February 16, 1942, from Lieutenant Colonel 
Httnt. On the following day Fujiwara sent for 
a number of Indian officers and civilians and 
explained that 'as the British Empire was 
coming to an end the Indians had a unique 
opportunity to attain freedom, it was an ideal 
time for them to rise and strike for their 
country's cause ; that Japan was prepared to 
help Indians in every way, even though Indians 
were British subjects, and thus technically 
enemy nationals, the Japanese knew that 
Indians werg not British subjects from choice.* 
He farther declared that 'the Japanese Army 
wpuld not treat them as enemies, but was 
prepared to treat them as friends, if thev 
repudiated British nationality 9 . For thfe 
purpose he suggested the formation of an 
organisation which Would receive all possible 
help and facilities for the work from the Japa- 
nese Government. 

The Indian representatives suspected the 
motives of the Japanese, and therefore they 
promised t?o give hini a reply after considering 
the proposal. ' 

Thei Indian prisoners of War were there- 
after 'put m charge of an ' Indian army officer, 
Captain Mohan Singh, a member of the 1/14 
Punjab Regiment, who, had joind the Japs when 
ttfei latter ; #tt}ke through Malaya, He held a 
Conference of the Indian officers whei-ein he 


said that the British had handed them over to 
the Japanese, who were not prepared to treat 
them as prisoners and they were also short of 
rations. They would, therefore, form an Indian 
National Army which would fight to liberate 
India. It was felt that although the Indian 
Army had fought bravely against the heaviest 
odds, the British High Command in return had 
left them at the mercy of the Japanese. "We 
felt 1 *, sires Captain P, K. Sahgal, "that the 
British Government had on its own initiative 
cut off all the bonds that had bound us of all 
obligations to it. The Japanese handed us 
over to Captain Mohan Singh, who was styled 
as G. 0. C. of the Indian National Army, and 
w&'were left free under Mm td fashion our own 
destiny. We Bonafide belteved that the 
British Crown having ceased to provide any 
protection to us could no longer demand allegi- 
ance, from us" Eesolutions were, therefore, 
passed ^ the effect that /they were all 
Indians despite their different religions and 
that they must all fight for the freedom of 

Civilians of Singapbre, however, sent -a 
cautious reply to Fujiwara. They wrqte that 
as it was essential for them to consult the 
Indian 'Community of Malaya before making 
any grave decision, they had decided to call, 
dnrfqg the first week of Jfarch, the Indian 
leaders of Malaya including 1 Mr, N. Raghavan, 


the President of the Central Indian Association 
for their advice in the matter. 

In the meantime Bash Behari Bose wired 
to ,the leaders in Singapore to send up an 
official delegation of the Thailand and Malaya 
Indians to Tokyo where he was to confer with 
the Japanese Government on the same subject. 
The first Conference of Indians, however, met 
at Singapore on March 10, 1942, wherein dele- 
gates from all over Malaya and Thailand 
participated* They decided to send to Tokyo 
a 'Goodwill Mission' instead of an official dele- 
gation whicn Rash Behari Bose had suggested 
since they 'did not wish to commit themselves 
in advance to any course of action that may 
be adopted at Tokyo/ 

The Tokyo Conference of Indian was held 
under the Presidentship of Bash Behari Bose 
from the 28th to 30th March 1942. Indian 
leaders from all over Japan, China, Thailand 
and Malaya were invited on the occasion, but 
the plane carrying the Thailand representatives 
crashed on the way involving the death of 
Swami Sat] 

The Conference decided that as the time 
had come for Indians living in the Far East to 
start a movement for complete independence, 
they should raise a$ Indian National Army for 
the purpose of invading India, and when free- 


dotfc tyas attained, they should decide upon the 
future constitution of the country without the 
domination, cohtrol or interference of any 
foreign power. It was resolved here "that 
military action against India will be taken 
only i>y the Indian National Army and under 
the command of Indians, together with such 
military, naval and air co-operation and assist- 
tafce as may be requested from the Japanese 
authorities by the Council of Action of the 
Indian Independence League to be formed and 
thAt the framing of the future constitution of 
India will be left entirely to the representatives 
of the people of India." It was also decided 
here to convene, in the following June, a full 
representative Conference of all East Asian 
Indians at Bangkok where it would officially 
inaugurate the East-Asia Indian Independ- 
ence League and elect its Council of 

In the meantime an All-Malaya Confereiwie 
met at Singapore on April 22, 23 arid 25, where 
a Central Body was formed to co-ordinate, 
supervise aftd control the functioning of the 
various branches of the League with the object 
of organising Works of social welfare, medical 
belief and political regeneration. A recruitment 
compaign was feverishly begun be various 
branches, and consequently the membership in 
Malaya alone reached 95,000 by the first week 


On June 15, 1942 over one hundred dele- 

Sites from Burma, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, 
alaya, Indo-China, Hong-Kong, Manchukuo 
and Japan met at Bangkok along with military 
delegates from amongst the prisoners of war 
and held discussions till the 23rd. At this 
Conference the various national organisations 
were merged into the Indian Independence 
League* Its constitution was drafted and it 
was deeided that its policy and programme 
would be identcal with that of the National 
Congress at home. This Conference resolved 
as follows : 

z. "That a movement for achieving 
pomplete and immediate Independence of India 
be sponsored by this Conference. 

ii. "That this Conference endorses the 
view of the Tokyo Conference held in March 
1942 that the complete Independence of India 
free from any foreign control, domination or 
interferences of whatever nature shall be the 
object of this movement and it is emphatically 
of opinion that the time has arrived to take 
necessary steps for the attainmen of that object. 

Hi. "That the Indian Independence 
movement sponsored by this Conference shall 
be guided by the principles indicated below ; 

(a) That UNITY, FAITH, SACRIFICE > shall 


be the motto of the Indian Inde- 
pendence Movement. 

(b) That India be considered as one and 


(c) That all activities of this movement 

be on a national basis and uot on 
sectional, communal or religious 

(d) That in view of the fact that the 
Indian National Congress is the only 
political organisation which could 
claim to represent the real interests 
of India and as such be acknowledged 
the only body representing India, 
this Conference is of opinion that 
the programme and plan of this 
movement must be so guided, cont- 
rolled and directed as to bring 
them in line with the aims and 
intentions of the Indian National 

(e) "That the framing of the future 

constitution of India be only by 
representatives of the people of 

iv. "That an organisation be started 
for carrying on the Indian Independence Move- 


ment and it shall be known as the Indian 
Independence League. . . 

v. "That the Indian Independence 
League shall immediately proceed to raise an 
army, called the Indian National Army from 
among the Indian soldiers (combatants and 
non-combatants) and such civilians as may 
hereafter be recruited for military service in 
the cause for India's Independence. . . 

vi. "That Indian Independence 
League shall consist of: 

(a) Council of Action. 

(fe) A Committee of Representatives. 

(c) Territorial Committee, and 

(d) Local Branches. . . 

vn. "That a Council of Action con- 
sistipg of a President and four members, of 
whom at least one half shall be from Indian 
National Army in East Asia, shall be appointed 
by the Delegates to this Conference. The first 
President shall be Sri Rash Behari Bose, and 
four members, shall be : 

1. Sri N. Raghavan, 

2. Capt. Mohan Singh, 

3. Sri K. P. K. Menon, 

4. Col. G. Q. Gilant. 


vm. "The Council of Action shall be 
responsible for the carrying out of the policy 
and programme of work laid down by this 
Conference and as may hereafter be laid down 
by the Committee of Representatives and shall 
deal with all new matters that may arise from 
time to time and which may not be provided 
for by the Committee itself. 

ix. "That a request be made to 
the Nippon Government that it may be pleased^ 
to place immediately all Indian soldiers in 
Territories in East Asia under their control at 
the disposal of this movement... 

x. "That the formation, command, 
control and organisation of the Indian 
National Army be in the hands of Indians 

xi. "That it is the earnest desire of 
this Conference that the Indian National Army 
from its inception be accorded the powers and 
status of a free National Army of an Indepen- 
dent India on a footing of equality with the 
armies of Japan and other friendly powers. 

xii. "That the Indian National Army 
be made use of only : 

(a) For operation only against the British 
or other foreign powers in India. 


(b) For the purpose of securing and safe- 

guarding Indian National Independ- 
ence ; and 

(c) For such other purpose as may assist 

the achievement of the object, viz., 
the Independence of India. 

xm. "That all officers and men of 
the proposed Indian National Army shall be 
members of the Indian Independence League 
and shall owe allegiance to the League. 

xiv. "That the Indian National 
Army shall be under the direct control of 
the Council of Action and that the said Army 
shall be organised and commanded by the 
General Officer Commanding, Indian National 
Army, in accordance with the directions of the 
Council of Action. 

xv. "That before taking Military 
Action against the British or any other foreign 
power in India the Council of Action will 
assure itself that such action is in conformity 
with the expressed or implied wishes of the 
Indian National Congress... 

xvi. "That all foreign assistance of 
whatever nature shall be only to the extent 
and of the type asked for by the Council of 


xvii. "That for the purpose of 
financing the Independence Movement the 
Council of Action be authorised to raise funds 
from Indians in East Asia .. 

xvm. "That this Conference having 
learned with regret that Indian in certain 
countries under the occupation of Imperial 
Forces of Japan are being treated as enemy 
aliens and suffer hardships and loss in conse- 
quence, resolves that the Imperial Government 
of Japan may be pleased to make a declaration 
to the effect : 

(i) "That Indians residing in the territories 
occupied by the Imperial Forces of Japan, 
shall not be considered enemy nationals so 
long as they do not indulge in any action 
injurious to this movement or hostile to the 
interest of Japan ; and 

(ii) "That the properties both movable and im- 
movable of those Indians who are now 
residing in India or elsewhere (including the 
properties of Indian Companies, firms or 
partnerships) be not treated by Japan as 
enemy properties so long as the management 
or control of such properties is vested in any 
person or persons residing in Japan or in any 
of the countries occupied by or under the 
control or influence of the Imperial Govern- 
ment Japanese forces ; and to instruct the 
authorities concerned in the respective terri- 
tories to give effect to this policy as early as 


xix. "That this movement adopts 
the present National flag of India and requests 
the Impreial Government of Japan and the 
Royal Government of Thailand and the 
.Governments of all other friendly powers to 
recognise the said flag in all territories under 
their jurisdiction. 

xx. "That this Conference requests 
Sri Subhas Chandra Bose to be kind enough to 
come to East Asia and appeals to the Imperial 
Government of Japan to use its good offices to 
obtain the necessary permission and conveni- 
ences from the Govenment of Germany to 
enable Sri Subhas Chandra Bose to reach East 
Asia safely." 

In a nut-shell the Bangkok Conference 
decided : (a) to unite all Indians for the 
immediate achievement of India's independence, 
(b) to raise an Indian National Army (Azad 
Hind Fauj) from the Indian soldiers and civilians 
in East Asia which was to be under the direct 
control of the Council of Action of the Indian 
Independence League, (c) to accord power and 
status of a free National Army of Independent 
India to this Army on a footing of equality 
with the Army of Japan, (d) to ask the 
Japanese Government to clarify their attitude 
towards this movement and their policy towards 
India, and (e) to lay down in clear terms that 
the Indian National Army shall be used ex- 


clusively for operations against foreigners in 
India, for the purpose of securing and safe- 
guarding Indian National Independence and 
for establishing in India a free and united 
democratic State on non- communal lines. 

The Conference further demanded the 
Japanese Government to issue a formal dec- 
laration to the effect that "immediately on the 
severance of India from the British Empire, 
the Japanese Government shall respect the 
territorial integritty, and recognise the full 
sovereignty of India, free of any foreign 
influence, control or interference of a political, 
or economic nature". 

The League was to consist of local branch 
committees for the various parts of East Asia 
like Burma, Sumatra, Malaya, Thailand, 
Indo-China and Japan, while a Committee of 
Representatives and a Council of Action were 
set up at Singapore, the headquarters of the 
League under the Presidentship of Sri Rash 
Behari Bose. The Council of Action consisted 
of four members, two civilians and two from 
the Indian National Army, with a President 
at their head, The first Council comprised of 
N. Raghavan, K. P. K. Menon, Captaia Mohan 
Singh and Colonel G. Q. Gilani, with Rash 
Behari Bose as the President. 



As a result of the Bangkok Conference 
the Indian Independence League was officially 
inaugurated under the Presidentship of Sri 
Bash Behari Bose, with its headquarters at 
Singapore and with branches all over East 
Asia. The Constitution of the League was : 
(1) Council of Action, (2) Committee of Repre- 
sentatives, (3) Territorial Committees, and 
(4) Local Branches. 

The Indian National Army was IWmed 
on September 1, 1942, with Captain Mohan 
Singh as the G.O.C.-in-Chief. The cause of the 
Indian Independence League and the Indian 
National Army received a great impetus from 
the events which took place in East Asia be- 
tween June and the end of August 1942. Says 
Captain Sehgal: "In the first place, the 
Japanese forces met with most astounding 
success in every theatre of war and an attack 
on India appeared to be imminent. Every one 
thought that India would soon be exposed to a 
Japanese onslaught, and even the B. B. C. sent 
a message of sympathy in her coming mis- 

"The last Indian drafts that had arrived 
to reinforce Singapore consisted only of raw 


recruits and gave one a fair indication of the 
type of men available for the defence of India. 
Officers who came to Singapore shortly before 
its surrender said that there was no modern 
equipment available for the army in In4ia. I 
was told that the soldiers were being trained 
with wooden rifles and light machine guns and 
that defences on the north-eastern borders of 
India were almost non-existent. Every one of 
us felt convinced that if the Japanese invaded 
India, there was none to resist their advance. 
This was the most distressing thought for all 
of us. 

"In the second place, on August 8, 1942, 
the Indian National Congress passed the famous 
'Quit India 9 Resolution and countrywide de- 
monstrations followed the passing of this 

"All India Radio, Delhi and the B. B. .0. 
drew a curtain over the happenings in India. 
However certain secret stations, supposed to 
be functioning somewhere in India and the 
Japanese and other Axis controlled radio sta- 
tions outside India broadcast freely about these 
happenings and the measures taken by the 
Government to suppress the freedom move- 
ment. . . 

"The British Government claimed the 
pole responsibility for the defence of India 

34 THE 8TOEY Off I.K.A. 

had with contempt rejected the offer of our 
own Leaders to take charge of and to organize 
such defence. 

"The information we had about the state 
of defence in India was by no means encourag- 
ing and the most optimistic among them could 
not be sure of the ability of the British to stop 
the Japanese advance. The civilian population 
could not even think of organising any resist- 
ance and must submit to untold sufferings and 
hardships. The scorched earth policy which 
the British had already decided upon and even 
began to follow must add very considerably to 
the disaster. 

" After protracted discussion the only 
solution we could think of was the formation 
of a strong and well-disciplined armed body 
which, while fighting for the liberation of India 
from the existing alien rule, should be able 
and ready to provide protection to their 
country-men against any possible molestation, 
and to resist against any attempt by the Japa- 
nese to establish themselves as rulers of the 
country in place of the British." 

But from the very beginning the relations 
between the Council of Action and the Japa- 
nese Government became straightened. 
Iwakuro Kikan, a Japanese organisation, which 
acted as a liaison agency between the Indian 


Independence League and the Japanese military 
authorities, tried to interfere in the affairs of 
the League with the intention of dominating 
it and using it as a tool for the Japanese ag- 
gressive programme in India. The Council of 
Action resisted this domineering attitude of 
the Kikan, but Indians at that stage were 
completely at the mercy of the Japs. They 
had neither any arms nor any organised force. 
All that Bash Behari Bose could do was to 
condemn the high-handed attitude of the 
Japanese on the public-platform and ask for a 
reply by the Japanese Government to the 
Bangkok Conference demands purporting to : 

(a) The recognition of the Council of Action as 
t-he Supreme Executive of the Indian Inde- 
pendence movement ip East Asia. 

(b) A full formal and solemn declaration by the 
Government of Japan recognising and 
supporting the absolute independence and 
full sovereignty of India immediatley on the 
removal of British rule in India* 

(c) A formal and public recognition of the 
formation and existence of the Indian 
National Army on the principles laid down 
in the Bangkok resolution. 

The reply received from the Japanese 
Government was not in any way satisfactory 
sinoe it gave no specific answer to the questions 
asked for by Rash Behari Bose and only 


affirmed that Japan had no territorial ambi- 
tions in India and therefore promised to help her 
to achieve complete Independence. But since 
the Council of Action had asked for an un- 
equivocal reply by the Japanese to the Bangkok 
Conference demands, an answer of the above 
nature could not meet the situation. The 
Council wanted that India should be respected 
as a free nation and with that end in view it 
should be allowed to form a Provisional 
Government of India without any interference 
of the Japanese Government through the Kikan 
or any other known or unknown agencies. 

Things reached a climax by the end of 
November 1942 when the Japanese military 
authorities asked the Council of Action to keep 
the Indian National Army ready for its March 
on to Burma from Malaya. The Council stood 
its ground quite admirably and refused point- 
blank to execute the Japanese demands un- 
less the Japanese Government clarified all 
the points formulated at the Bangkok 

On December 6, 1942 a Japanese troop- 
ship arrived in Singapore to carry the Indiaft 
National Army to Burma. The officers of the 
Army ,, burnt all their records and badges. 
Captain Mohan Singh was removed to Sumatra 
and Major Kiani refused taking command of 
the forces. Officers acd men refused to oo 


operate with Japanese. On the following day 
the Japanese arrested Colonel N. 8. Gill declar- 
ing him a British spy. In the circumstances 
the Malaya branch of the League decided, 
"that Sri Bash Behari Bose be requested to 
try every possible means to secure a clarifica- 
tion of all matters relating to the movement 
from the Tokyo Government by declarations, 
statements and otherwise at as early a date as 
possible, and that while the normal working 
of the movement will be carried on as usual 
any further forward move will be decided 
only after such declarations and statements 
are made." 

The Council of Action resigned as protest 
against the interference of the Kikan and 
arrest of Colonel Gill, and Bash Behari asked 
for facilities to go to Tokyo and see General 
Tojo in person about the situation. As a 
result of it the Japanese stopped making any 
further arrests of Indians or harassing them 
directly, but they tried a new method of 
overpowering the League by launching a Youth 
Movement under the support of the Kikan. 
It began an intensive propaganda amongst the 
Indian prisoners of war, and those who con- 
tinued to refuse co-operation with them, were 
sent away to unknown places. The Committee 
of the Malaya Branch of the League under 
Sri Raghavan thereupon sent a Memorandum 
to Bash Behari Bose stating in detail the 


difficulties that had arisen in the working of 
the League after his departure to Tokyo, and 
informed him that the Committee as a whole 
would resign if the situation did not improve. 

The Japanese came to know of this 
Memorandum and, therefore, forced Sri 
Raghavan to resign the Presidential chair 
before the letter reached Bash Behari Bose. 
But other members of the Council believing 
that their resignation would mean offering 
facilities to the Japanese to appoint people 
of their own choice on the Committee and 
make anti-nationalistic propaganda through 
such a puppet body, refrained from resigning. 

At Tokyo Bash Behari Bose could not 
get the assurances asked for by the League, 
but he succeeded in having a temporary 
compromise with the Japanese Government 
whereby he was asked to remain in charge 
of the League till Subhas Chandra Bose's 

In April 1043 an East Asiatic Conference 
of Indians was held at Singapore wherein it 
was decided to place the whole of the Inde- 
pendence movement on a war-footing. It was 
also announced that Subhas Chandra Bose 
was expected to arrive from Europe in two 
months' time. 


Subhas Chandra Bose arrived in Japan 
by a submarine on June 20, 1943. Indians in 
Tokyo gave him a rousing reception, and he 
made the following statement on the occasion. 

"During the last World War our leaders 
had been bluffed and deceived by the wily 
British politicians. That was why we took 
the vow more then 20 years ago never again 
to be deceived by them. For more than 20 
years my generation has striven for freedom 
and eagerly awaited the hour that has now 
struck, the hour that is for the Indian people 
the dawn of freedom. We know very well 
such an opportunity will not come again for 
another 100 years, and we are therefore 
determined to make the fullest use of it. . . 
It is our duty to pay for our liberty with 
our own blood. The freedom that we shall 
win, through our sacrifice and exertions, we 
should be able to preserve with our own 
strength. The enemy that has drawn the 
sword must be fought with the sword. 
Civil disobedience must develop into armed 
struggle. And only when the Indian people 
receive the baptism of fire on a large scale 
will they qualify for their freedom." 

On the following day he spoke on the 
Tokyo radio : 

"So far as India is concerned, what is 
* most important to all of us is the situation 


near India. During the whole history of the 
British in India, it had not struck one single 
British General that at any stage in the 
future, some enemy of the British might 
appear on the Eastern Frontier of India. 
The whole attention of Britain's military 
strategists has, therefore, been concentrated 
on the North-West Frontier of India." 

"With the naval fortress of Singapore 
in their possession, our rulers thought that 
India was safe in their hands. The dynamic 
advance of Generals Yamashita and Ida 
opened the eyes of the world to the worthless- 
ness of British strategy.. 

"Since then General Wavell has been 
making feverish attempts to put up forti- 
fications on the Eastern Frontier of India. 
But what the Indian people are asking is 
this: If it took them almost 20 years to 
build Singapore, and only one week to lose 
it, how long will it take the British 
Commander-in-Chief or his successor to 
withdraw from his fortifications ? 

"To us Indians, what is of primary 
importance is not what is happening at 
Tunis, Timbuctoo, or in Lampedusa or 
Alaska, but what is happening inside India 
and across our frontier. 


"What is of primary importance to 
us, is, that the much advertised reconquest 
of Burma has ended in a shameful retreat... 
Even the fall of Singapore, and the loss of 
Burma, the greatest disasters in British 
military history, could not bring about any 
appreciable change. British Imperialism 
remains inexorable. iMen may come and 
men may go, but British Imperialism goes 
on for ever, that is what our rulers continue 
to think... You may call it lack of 
statesmanship or political bankruptcy, or mid- 
summer madness; but this midsummer mad- 
ness has its own explanation. 

"The British Empire has grown out of 
India. The British people know, no matter 
to which political party they belong, that they 
need to reap all the resources of India. To 
them empire means India. They are now 
fighting madly to preserve that empire. 
Consequently, no matter what fate besets 
Britain during the course of this war, the 
Englishmen will endeavour to the very last 
to keep this empire, that is, to hold on to 
India. Therefore, if I may speak frankly, 
I would say that it is not midsummer 
madness that British politicians refuse to 
recognise India's independence though they 
are in a terrible plight ; it is midsummer 
madness that we should expect the English 
man voluntarily to give up his empire... 


No Indian should ever cherish the illusion 
that one day England will be induced to 
recognise India's independence. But that is 
not to say that British politicians will never 
again compromise with India. Personally, 
I expect another such attempt some time 
this year. But what I want to point 
out, my countrymen, is that by com- 
promise the British politicians will never 
recognise India's independence, but will only 
try to bluff ths Indian people. Protracted 
negotiations are planned to side-track the 
campaign for independence and thereby 
under-mine the national will, as they did 
between December 1941 and April 1912.. 

"Therefore, we should, once and for all 
give up hope of any compromise with British 
Imperialism. Our independence admits of 
no compromises. Freedom is only won when 
the British and their allies quit India for 
good. And those who really want liberty 
must fight for it and pay for it with their 
blood... Countrymen and friends, let us, 
therefore, carry on the fight for liberty, in- 
side India and outside India, with all our 
strength and vigour. Let us continue the 
battle with unshakable faith till the day that 
British Imperialism will be broken up and 
out of its ashes India will once again emerge 
an independent nation. In this struggle there 
is no going back, and there can be no faltering* 


We must march onward till victory is achieved 
and freedom won." 

Subhas Bose arrived in Singapore on 
July 2, 1943, and on the 4th the inaugural 
session of the Indian Independence League 
was held. On this occasion Rash Behari 
Bose formally handed over the Presidentship 
of the Indian Independence League to Subhas 
Chandra Bose, who was further honoured with 
the title of "Netaji" or the revered leader. 
Addressing the gathering Netaji spoke ; 

"Friends : The time has now come for 
freedom-loving Indians to act. Action in a 
war-crisis demands, above all, military dis- 
cipline, as well as unflinching loyalty to the 
cause. I, therefore, call upon all my country* 
men in East Asia to line up in one solid 
phalanx and prepare for the grim fight that 
is ahead of us. I am confident that they 
will do so ... I have publicly declared several 
times that when I left homeland in 1941 on 
an important mission, it was in accordance 
with the will of the vast majority of my 
countrymen. Since despite all the restrictions 
imposed by the C. I. D., I have remained 
in constant touch with my countrymen at 

"Patriotic Indians abroad have been 
working as genuine trustees of the freedom* 


fighters at home. I can assure everybody 
once again that whatever we have done up 
till now, or may do in future, has been and 
will be for the freedom of India, and we shall 
never do anything that is either against the 
interests of India or will not be in accordance 
with the will of our people . . . 

"In order to mobilise all ,our forces 
effectively, I intend organising a Provisional 
Government of Free India . . . By winning 
freedom through our own efforts and sacrifice, 
we shall be acquiring the strength whereby 
we shall preserve our liberty for all time ... I 
warn you that though we are absolutely sure 
of our final victory, we can never afford to 
under-estimate the enemy, and we should 
even be prepared for temporary setback. 
We have a grim fight ahead of us for the 
enemy is at once powerful, unscrupulous and 
ruthless. In this final march to freedom, 
you will have to face hunger, thirst, privation, 
forced marches and death. Only when you 
pass this test will freedom be yours. I am 
confident that you will do so and thereby 
bring freedom and prosperity to your enslaved 
and impoverished land" . . . 

On July 5, 1943, Netaji attended the 
Military Review where he addressed the Indian 
National Army : 

"Soldiers of India's Army of Liberation ! 
Today is the proudest day of my life. - Todfty 


it has pleased Providence to give me the 
unique honour of announcing to the whole 
world that India's Army of Liberation has 
come into being. This Army has now been 
drawn up in military formation on the battle- 
field of Singapore, which was once the bulwark 
of the British Empire. This is the Army 
that will emancipate India from the British 
yoke. Every Indian must feel proud that 
this Indian Army has been organised entirely 
under Indian leadership, and that when the 
historic moment arrives, under Indian leader- 
ship it will go into battle . . , Standing today 
on the graveyard of the British Empire, even 
a child is convinced that the almighty British 
Empire is already a thing of the past. 

"Comrades ! My soldiers ! Let your battle- 
cry be : 'To Delhi, to Delhi'. How many of 
us will individually survive this war of freedom, 
I do not know. But I do know this, that 
we shall ultimately win, and our task will not 
end until our surviving heroes hold the Victory 
parade on another graveyard of the British 
Empire the Lai Qilla of Ancient Delhi. .. 

" Throughout my public career, I have 
always felt that though India is otherwise 
ripe for independence in every way, she lacks 
one thing, an Army of Liberation. George 
Washington of America could fight and win 
freedpmi because he had his army. Garibaldi 


could liberate Italy because he had his armed 
volunteers behind him. It is your privilege 
and honour to be the first to come forward 
and organise India's National Army. . . Soldiers 
who always remain faithful to their nation, 
who perform their duty under all circum- 
stances, and who are always prepared to sac- 
rifice their lives, are invincible. Engrave these 
three ideals in tha inmost core of your hearts. 

" Comrades ! You are today the cus- 
todians of India's national honour and the em- 
bodiment of India's hopes and aspirations. So 
conduct yourself that your countrymen may 
bless you and posterity may be proud of you. 
I assure you that I shall be with you in dark- 
ness and in sunshine, in sorrow and in joy, in 
suffering and in victory. For the present, I 
can offer you nothing except hunger, thirst, 
suffering, forced marches and death. It does* 
not matter who among us will live to see India 
free. It is enough that India shall be free and 
that we shall give our all to make her free. 
May God now bless our Army and grant us 
victory in the coming fight!" 

A mass rally was held in Singapore on 
July 9, 1943. Netaji addressed a gathering of 
more than one lakh of men and women : 

" I would like to tell you quite frankly 
what made me leave home and homeland, on 


a journey that was fraught with danger of 
every kind. I was lodged safely in a British 
prison, where I silently resolved to risk every- 
thing in the attempt to escape from tha 
clutches of the British. Having been in prison 
eleven times, it was much easier and much 
safer for me to continue there, but I felt that 
the cause of India's Independence demanded a 
journey abroad, regardless of the risk that it 
involved. It took me full three months of 
prayer and meditation to decide if I had 
strength enough to face death in fulfilling my 
duty. Before I could slip out of India, I had 
to get out of prison and in order to do so, I 
had to go on hunger-strike demanding my 
release. I knew that neither in India, nor in 
Ireland, had a prisoner succeeded in forcing 
the British Government to release him. I 
knew also that Terence Maoswiney and Jatin 
Das had died in the attempt to force the Gov- 
ernment's hands. But I felt convinced that I 
had an historic task to fulfil. So 1 took the 
plunge, and after seven days of hunger-strike 
the Government unexpectedly got unnerved 
and set me free, with the intention of taking 
me back to prison again after a month or two. 
But before they could seize me again, I became 
a free man..* 

" Friends ! You know that I have been 
actively working in the Independence move- 
ment ever since I left the University in 1921. 

48 THE STOEY Off I.N.A. 

I have been through all the civil disobedience 
campaigns during the last two decades. In 
addition to this, I have been repeatedly put in 
prison without trial, on the suspicion of having 
been connected with secret revolutionary move- 
ments whether non- violent or violent. In the 
light of this experience, I came to the con- 
clusion that all the efforts that we could put 
forward inside India, would not suffice to ex- 
pel the British from our country... 

" To put it briefly, therefore, my object 
in leaving India was to supplement from out- 
side the struggle going on at home . . . On 
the other hand, the supplementary help from 
outside which the national struggle at home so 
urgently needs is in reality very small. The 
help that our countrymen at home needed and 
still need is a two-fold one : moral and mate- 
rial. Firstly, they have to be morally con- 
vinced that their victory is assured. Secondly, 
they have to be given military help from out- 
side . . . 

" The time has come when I can openly 
tell the whole world including our enemies, as 
to how it is proposed to bring about national 
liberation. Indians outside India, particularly 
Indians in East Asia, are going to organise a 
a fighting force which will be powerful enough 
to attack the British Army in India. WJien 
we do so, a revolution will break out, not only 

Off tO DELHI 40 

among the civil population at home, but 
also among the Indian Army which is now 
standing under the British Flag. When the 
British Government is thus attacked from both 
sides from inside India and from outside 
it will collapse, and the Indian people will then 
regain their liberty. According to my plan, 
therefore, it is not even necessary to bother 
about the attitude of the Axis powers towards 
India. If Indians outside and inside India 
will do their duty, it is possible for the Indian 
people to throw the British out of India and 
liberate 38 millions of their countrymen . . . 
Friends, let the slogan of the three million 
Indians in East Asia be : "Total Mobilisation 
for a Total War." Out of this Total Mobili- 
sation, I expect at least three lakh soldiers and 
three crores of dollars. I want also a unit of 
brave Indian women to form a death-defying 
Regiment who will wield the sword which the 
brave members of Rani of Jhansi wielded 
in India's First War of Independence in 

"Our countrymen at home are now hard- 
pressed and they are demanding a Second 
Front. Give me total mobilisation in East 
Asia and I promise you a second front a real 
second front for the Indian struggle." 

Yet another mass rally was held in 
Singapore on August 15, 1943 when Netaji 

60 THE BTOfcY Off 

spoke about the progress of the Indian National 
Army and his future plans : 

"A year has rolled by since Mahatma 
Gandhi was put in prison for the crime of 
demanding the withdrawal of the British from 
India. Since then the civil disobedience move- 
ment as well as sabotage activities have gone 
on with unabated vigour. But we have not 
won freedom. And we shall not win freedom 
till we put up a second front on the Indo-Burma 
frontier and call upon the Indian people 
and the British Indian Army to take up 
arms against the British and their allies in 
India. , . 

"It is today a very great pleasure for me 
to see so many of my Muslim countrymen in 
this gathering of ours. I thank them heartily 
for the welcome they have given me and for 
the handsome purse they have offered for the 
Indian Independence Movement. . . And let the 
whole world know, and let our enemies 
know that all Indians in East Asia are united 
regardless of religion or caste and they are 
determined to fight for the freedom of their 
common Motherland." 

A Special Order of the Day was issued 
by Netaji on his taking over the Supreme 
Command of the Indian National Army on 
August 25, 1943 : 


"In the interests of the Indian indepencU 
ence movement, I have taken over the, direct 
command of our army from this day. This is 
a matter of joy and pride to me because for an 
Indian there can be no greater honour than to 
be the commander of India's army of libera- 
tion. But I am conscious of the magnitude 
of the task that I have undertaken and I feel 
weighed down with a sense of responsibility. 
I pray to God to give me the necessary strength 
to fulfil my duty under all circumstances, 
however difficult and trying they may be, I 
regard myself as a servant of 38 crores of my 
countrymen, who profess different religious 
faiths. I am determined to discharge my 
duties in such a manner that the interests of 
these 38 crores will be safe in my hands and 
that every single Indian will have reason to 
put complete trust in the coming struggle for 
the emancipation of our Motherland, for the 
establishment of a Government of Free India, 
and for the creation of a permanent army 
which will guarantee Indian Independence for 
all time. 

"The Azad Hind Fauj has a vital role to 
play. To fulfil this role, we must weld our- 
selves into an army that will have only one 
goal the freedom of India and only one will 
to do or die in the cause of India's freedom. 
I have complete faith in the justice and in the 
invincibility of our cause, 38 crores of human 


beings, who form one-fifth of the human 
race, have a right to be free and they are now 
prepared to pay the price of freedom. There is 
no power on earth that can deprive us of our 
birth-right of liberty. Comrades ! Officers 
and men ! With your unstinted support and 
unflinching loyalty the Azad Hind Fauj will 
become an instrument of India's libration. 
Victory will certainly be ours." 

This Order of the Day ended with the 
slogan of Delhi Ghalo\ 

In connection with a propaganda and 
recruitment tour Netaji arrived in Rangoon 
on September 26, 1943. He addressed a meet- 
ing at the tomb of Emperor Bahadur Shah : 

"It is perhaps strange, may be a lucky 
coincidence of history, that while the remains 
of India's last Emperor rest on the soil of 
Burma, the remains of the last King of Free 
Burma now rest on the soil of India. 

"We express our unshakable determin- 
ation before a sacred memorial, before the 
mortal remains of the last fighter for India's 
freedom, the man who was an Emperor among 
men and a man among Emperors... Now 
when we are engaged in the last war for India's 
independence, it is all the more necessary for 
us to renew our unshakable determination to 


fight this last war for independence to a finish, 
regardless of all sufferings and sacrifices, 
regardless of all difficulties <n our path, regard- 
less of the length of this war so that at long 
last the enemy, the common enemy of Burma 
and India, will be finally overthrown and we 
will be free not only within our homes, but 
free as comrades marching shoulder to shoulder 
fulfilling the common destiny of mankind. 

* "And now I shall close these few remarks 
by quoting the English meaning of a couplet 
which was composed by Bahadur Shah himself: 
"So long as the last particle of faith exists in 
souls of India's freedom-fighters, the sword of 
India shall continue to penetrate the heart of 

( Ohazion men bu rahe gi jab talak Iman K, 
Takhte London tak chalegi tegh Hindustan ki" 

On October 21, 1943 Netaji announced 
the establishment of the Provisional Govern- 
ment of Azad Hind. The Proclamation was 
signed by Subhas Chandra Bose as Head of 
State, Prime Minister and Minister for War and 
Foreign Affairs, Captain Mrs. Lakshmi (Wo- 
men's Organization), S. A. Ayer (Publicity and 
Propaganda), Lieutenant-Colonel A. C Chatter- 
ji (Finance), Lieutenant-Colonel Aziz Ahmad, 
Lieutenant N. S. Bhagat, Lieutenant-Colonel 
J. K. Bhonsle, Lieutenant-Colonel Gulzara 


Singh, Lieu tenant- Colonel M. Z. Kiani, 
Lieutenant-Colonel A. D. Loganadan, Lieute- 
nant-Colonel Ehsatt Qadir, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Shah Nawaz (Representatives of armed forces), 
A. M. Sahay (Secretary with Ministerial rank), 
Bash Behari Bose (Supreme Adviser), Karim 
Ghani, Debnath Das, D. M. Khan, A. Yellappa 
J. Thivy, Sardar Ishar Singh (Advisers), and 
A. N. Sarkar (Legal Adviser). 

The Proclamation was received by the 
delegates and all others present with loud ap- 
plause and cheering. After that Netaji him- 
self took an oath of allegiance to India in the 
following words : 

" In the name of God, I take this sacred 
oath that to liberate India and the thirty-eight 
crores of my countrymen, I Subhas Chandra 
Bose, will continue this sacred war of freedom 
,till the last breath of my life. I shell always 
remain a servant of India and look after the 
welfare of thirty-eight crores of Indian brothers 
and sisters. This shall be for me my highest 
duty. Even after winning freedom, I will 
always be prepared to shed the last drop of my 
blood for the preservation of India's freedom." 

Loud and prolonged cheers followed with 
the outbursts of "Subhas Bose Ki Jai", "Azad 
Hakumat Ki Jai", and "Azad Hind Ki Jai". 
Other members of the Council thereafter took 

Otf TO DELHI 65 

the oath of allegiance to India and to 
Netaji. After that Netaji addressed the 
gathering : 

"During the last few months, the situa- 
tion inside India has been developing in a 
manner favourable to our cause, though it has 
meant more and more suffering for the people. 
The political unrest in India has been greatly 
accentuated by the famine conditions prevail- 
ing in several parts of India and particularly 
in Bengal. There can be no doubt that these 
famine conditions have been largely due to the 
policy of ruthless exploitation of India's food 
and other resources for Britain's war purposes 
over a period of nearly four years. You are 
aware that on behalf of our league, I made a 
free and unconditional offer of one hundred 
thousand tons of rice for our starving country- 
men at home as a first instalment. Not only 
was this offer not accepted by the British 
authorities in India but we were given only 
abuse in return. 

"You are probably aware that since July 
last, I have toured more than once in the 
mainland of Malaya, in Thailand, in Burma 
and in Indo-China. The enthusiasm among 
our countrymen that I have met with every- 
where has not only been encouraging, but has 
added greatly to my feelings of confidence and 
optimism.. . 

56 THE STORY 09 t.K.A. 

"I would like to inform you also that we 
have been planning and preparing, not only for 
the coming struggle, but also for post-war re- 
construction. We can visualise the conditions 
that we shall find at home when the Anglo- 
Americans and (their allies are expelled from 
our Country. We have, therefore, set up a 
Reconstruction Department at our headquar- 
ters, where the problems of post-war recons- 
truction are being studied. People are now 
being trained for work of rapid reconstruction 
within India, simultaneously with the progress 
of military operations. In short, we are not 
leaving anything undone in our preparation for 
the coming fight for freedom and for the task 
that we shall have to undertake thereafter* 

"It would naturally have been the best 
thing if a Government had been constituted 
inside India, and if that Government had 
launched the last struggle for liberty. But 
things being what they are in India, and all 
the known and recognised leaders being in 
prison, it is hopeless to expect the formation 
of a Provisional Government within the fron- 
tiers of India. It is equally hopeless to expect 
the last fight for freedom to be organised, or 
initiated within the Country. It is conse- 
quently for the Indians in East Asia to under- 
take this solemn task. 

"There is not the slightest doubt in our 


minds that when we cross the Indian frontier 
with our Army and hoist our National Flag on 
Indian soil, the real revolution will break out 
within the country the revolution that will 
ultimately bring about the end of British rule 
in India.. . 

"The creation of a National Army has 
lent reality and seriousness to the whole Inde- 
pendence Movement in East Asia. If this 
Army had not been organised, the Indepen- 
dence League in East Asia would have been a 
mere propaganda organ. With the creation of 
the National Army, it became possible as well 
as necessary, to set up a Provisional Govern- 
ment of Azad Hind (Free India). The Govern- 
ment is born out of the Independence League 
for the purpose of launching and directing the 
final struggle for India's freedom . . . 

"In setting up this Provisional Govern- 
ment we are, on the one hand, meeting the 
exigencies of the Indian situation, and are, on 
the other, following in the footsteps of history. 
In recent times, the Irish people set up their 
Provisional Government in 1916. The Czeches 
did the same during the last World War. The 
Turks, under the leadership of Mustafa Kamal, 
set up their Provisional Government in Ana- 
tolia.. . 

On October 22, 1943 Netaji opened the 


Rani of Jhansi Training Camp for the Women's 
Section of the Indian National Army, and after 
hoisting the National flag, he spoke : 

"Sisters! The opening of the Rani of 
Jhansi Regiment Training Camp is an impor- 
tant landmark in the progress of our Move- 
ment in East Asia. We are engaged in the 
great task of regenerating our Nation. And 
it is only in the fitness of things that there 
should be a stir of New Life among our women- 
folk. . . 

"Our past has been a great and glorious 
one. India could not have produced a heroine 
like the Rani of Jhansi if she did not have 
a glorious tradition. In the same way as we 
have figures like Maitreyi in India's ancient 
days, we have the inspiring examples of 
Ahalyabai of Maharashtra, Rani Bhawani of 
Bengal, Razia Begum and Noor Jahan, who 
were shining administrators in recent historic 
times prior to British rule in India. I have 
every confidence in the fertility of the Indian 
soil. I am confident that India, as in the past, 
will surely produce the best flowers of Indian 
womanhood.. . 

"I may at this juncture say a few words 
about the Rani of Jhansi. When the Rani pf 
Jhansi started her fight, her age was only 
twenty. You can easily imagine what it meant 


for a girl of twenty to ride a horse, and wield 
her sword in open battle. You can easfty 
realise what courage and spirit she must have 
had. The English Commander who fought 
against her said that 'she was the best and 
bravest of rebels'. First she fought from the 
Jhansi Fort, and when the fort was besieged, 
she escaped with a party to Kalpi from where 
she put up a fight. When she had to retreat 
from this battlefront, she made an alliance 
with Tantia Topi, attacked and captured 
Gwalior Fort, and using that Fort as the base 
she continued the battle, and in this last and 
great battle she died fighting. 

"Unfortunately, Jhansi Rani was de- 
feated. It was not her defeat ; it was the 
defeat of India. She died, but her spirit can 
never die. India can once again produce 
Jhansi Ranis and march on to victory." 

After the establishment of the Provisional 
Government the Council of ministers, on Octo- 
ber 23, 1943, passed the resolution that "the 
Provisional Government of Azad Hind declares 
war on Britain and the U. S. A." A special 
appeal for funds was, thereafter issued by 
Netaji to Indian merchants of East Asia who 
met him at Jalan and Besar Stadium in Singa- 
pore on October 26, 1943. He spoke : 

"Look at those who have volunteered to 


join the Indian National Army and who are 
now getting the necessary training. They do 
not know how many of them would live to see 
India free. They are getting ready with the 
one thought of shedding their last drop of 
blood. They are getting ready to go to a free 
India or to die on the way. There is no pro- 
gramme of retreat for them. . . 

"When the I. N. A. is getting trained 
either to march to victory or to spill its last 
drop of blood on the way, the rich people are 
asking me whether total mobilisation means 
ten per cent, or five per cent, of their riches. 
I would ask these people who are speaking of 
percentages whether we can tell our soldiers 
to fight and spill only ten per cent, of their 
blood and save the rest. . . 

"The poor classes have been coming for- 
ward voluntarily and with enthusiastic spirit to 
offer everything that they have. Poorer class 
Indians like watchmen, washermen, barbers, 
petty shopkeepers and gawalas have come for- 
ward with all that they have. And in addition 
to that some of them have also offered to 
become volunteers* . . 

"Some of these'poor people came to me, 
and not only did they give all the cash they 
had in their pockets, but went further and 
gave me their Savings Bank books, which 


represent their lives 5 savings. Are there not 
rich men among the Indians in Malaya who 
can come forward and say in the same spirit : 
'Here is my Bank book for the cause of Indian 
Independence'? . . . 

"Indians as a nation believe in the ideal 
of self-sacrifice. Among the Hindus we have 
the ideal of the Sanyasins and the Muslims 
have the way of the Fakirs. Can there be a 
greater cause, a nobler cause and a holier cause 
than that of liberating 38 crores of human 
souls ? My first request to Malaya is for 10 
crores of rupees, which would be approximately 
10 per cent, of the value of Indian possessions 
in Malaya." 

As a result of this appeal one crore and 
thirty-lakh dollars were collected within 24 
hours time. 

In connection with the formation of the 
Provisional Government of Free India in 
Singapore Netaji issued the following statement 
on October 28, 1943: 

"With the formation of the Provisional 
Government of Azad Hind, the second dream 
of my political life has been fulfilled, the first 
being the organisation of a national revolu- 
tionary Army. Only one more dream now 
remains to be fulfilled, namely to fight and win 


our freedom. . .This declaration of war is not 
a propaganda stunt. We shall prove by our 
actions that we mean what we say. I, for one, 
would never have been a party to such a deci- 
sion, if I had not been confident of putting that 
decision into practice." 

And then he issued his famous Order of 
the Day : 

"There, there in the distance beyond 
that river, beyond those hills, lies the promised 
land, the soil from which we sprang the land 
to which we shall now return. 

"Hark! India is calling, India's metro- 
polis -Delhi is calling, three hundred and eighty- 
eight millions of our countrymen are calling. 
Blood is calling to blood. 

"Get up, we have no time to lose. Take 
up your arms. There, in front of you is the 
road that our pioneers have built. We shall 
march along that road. We shall carve our 
way through the enemy's ranks, or if God 
wills, we shall die a martyr's death. 

"And in our last sleep we shall kiss the 
road that will bring our Army to Delhi. The 
road to Delhi is the road to Freedom. 'CHALO 



On taking over the Supreme Command of 
the Indian National Army, Netaji declared that 
his objective was the achievement of Indepen- 
dence of India. His words were : "In the 
interests of the Indian Independence movement 
I have taken over the direct command of our 
Army from this day. This is a matter of joy 
and pride to me, because for an Indian there 
can be no greater honour than to be Com- 
mander of India's Army of Liberation. The 
Azad Hind Fauj has a vital role to play. To 
fulfil this role we must weld ourselves into an 
army that will have only one goal the free- 
dom of India and only one will to do or 
die in the cause of India's freedom". 

There was no difference between this 
objective of Netaji and that of Mahatma 
Gandhi. Their aim was the same freedom, 
but the methods of approach were different. 
" While wholeheartedly agreeing that non- 
violence is the finest method yet devised by 
man to fight for his ideals", says an account," 
it must be remembered in Gandhiji'a own 
words, that 'violence is better than cowardice 9 . 
In the storm-centres of violence where 


whelming forces had been massed, these Indian 
men and women gave expression to the courage 
in their hearts in the way best available to 
them. They were like Arjuna, who fought on 
the battle-field of Kurukshetra with all his 
skill, without hatred but with a single hearted 
loyalty to his righteous cause. The Law will 
pronounce a verdict and individual deeds will 
pass into the cumulative events of the age. 
But history, in its final verdict will lay bare 
the hearts of these men and women and record 
the over-flowing, uncalculating, if mistaken, 
abounden with which its sons and daughters 
worshipped their great Mother India from 

And thus in the words of Mr. J. P. Mitter, 
"Subhas Chandra Bose took a leaf out of 
history and made the supreme decision to make 
a bold bid to achieve the dream of his life- 
freedom of India. Subhas's grand passion in 
life had been love for his country. Imperialism 
in adversity was his opportunity. England 
was fighting, with her back to the wall, a 
seemingly lost war. She professed to fight for 
the liberation of oppressed countries, but she 
gave no assurance of any real intention to 
release her iron grip on India." 

Almost immediately on his arrival in the 
South-East Asia Suohas Chandra Bose made the 
Iiulian Independence League as the executive 


of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind 
and in June 1944 in Malaya alone 2,30,000 
persons took a written Oath of Allegiance to 
the Government. The Oath was : 

"1. I hereby voluntarily and of my own free 
will join and enlist myself in the Civil Vol- 
unteers Organisation of the Indian In- 
dependence League. * 

2. I solemnly and sincerely dedicate myself 
to India and hereby pledge my life for her 
freedom. I will serve India and the Indian 
Independence Movement to my fullest 
capacity even at the risk of my life. 

3. In serving the country, I shall seek no per- 
sonal advantage for myself. 

4. I will regard all Indians as my brothers and 
sisters without distinction of religion, 
language or territory, 

5. I will faithfully and without hesitation 
obey and carry out all orders and instruc- 
tions cjiven to me by the Indian Independ- 
ence League and I will carry out all just 
and lawful commands of my superior 
officers under whom I may be required to 
serve from time to time." 

There were some 20 to 30 lakhs of 
Indians in the South -East Asia at that time 
and a vast 'majority of them were anxious to 
come under the protection of a strong and or- 
ganised power which should protect their 


honour and property in those warlike condi- 
tions. This the Azad Hind Government 
admirably answered. It was an independent 
Government established on a foreign soil with 
the object of firstly protecting Indian lives 
and property in the South-East Asia and 
secondly liberating India by organising a strong 
military attack after welding together the 
entire Indian community in the Far East. In 
the circumstances, the Provisional Government 
of Azad Hind was formed on the 21st October, 

1943 with its headquarters in Singapore. 
These were shifted to Rangoon on January 7, 

1944 making Singapore as the Rear Headquar- 
ters to supervise the activities in Java, 
Samatra, Borneo and Malaya. 

The Indian Independence League was re- 
tained for doing the relief work among the 
Indian community in these countries. It had 
24 branches in Thailand, 70 branches in Malaya 
and 100 branches in Burma, besides having 
several active branches all over Java, Sumatra, 
Celebes, Borneo, the Philippines, China, Man* 
ehukuo and Japan, and later on even in 
Andamans. In Malaya the League helped the 
distressed Indian Labourers who had been 
badly hit by war. It supplied free food, me- 
dicines and clothes to all deserving people. It 
also cleared 2,000 acres of jungle-land in 
Malaya for colonising distressed Indians coming 
from war zones. In Thailand and Burma it 


established well-equipped hospitals and free 
dispensaries. Another important service 
rendered by the League was the establishment 
of schools for Indian children in the South- 
East Asia. In Burma alone it was running 65 
Indian schools. 

The Azad Hind Government owned 
clearly defined territories independent of exter- 
nal control and exercised 'undisputed and 
exclusive control over all persons and things 
within the territory occupied by it.' 

"It would be a slander to say that the 
Provisional Government was a puppet govern- 
ment", says Mr. J. P. Mitjter in his admirable 
article entitled 'Subhas Bose. The Provisional 
Government of Free India and Indian National 
Army'. "It received no financial assistance 
from the Japanese Government or from any one 
else. It obtained its funds from the taxation 
of its own subjects all over the Far East. The 
method of taxation was that a Committee of 
businessmen used to estimate the capital of 
every Indian, and 10 per cent, was taken by 
way of tax. Convenient instalments were 
allowed." The tax was levied only upon the 
Indian residents of the South-East Asia. There 
were some Indian residents who declared them- 
selves to be subjects of the Burma Government. 
They were therefore excluded fron payment of 
the tax, and asked only for such contributions 


that they could voluntarily make to the Azad 
Hind Government fund. From voluntary 
contributions made by the people of Burma 
alone the Azad Hind Government got 8 lakhs of 
rupees in cash and 3 crores and 40 lakhs worth 
supplies. In this way other East Asiatic 
countries as well contributed about 51 crores 
to this Government. In all some 20 crores of 
rupees were donated to it, out of which was 
maintained the civil government and the 
Indian National Army. 

Quite a number of cases have come to 
record which prove amply that Indians in 
those areas lavishly donated to the Azad Hind 
Government fund. On July 9, 1943 Netaji 
presented the Sevak-i-Hind medal to a Muslim 
multi-millionaire of Rangoon who had given 
away all his property, estate and wealth 
amounting to about a crore of rupees to the 
Indian Independence t League. Again in a 
public meeting held on August 21, 1944 Netaji 
awarded the same medal to Shrimati Hiraben 
Betani who had given away 13 of her gold 
necklaces costing rupees 1,50,000 to the Netaji 
fund. Another huge donation was made by a 
Punjabi youngman on the occasion of the 
Independence Day celebrations on January 26, 
1944 in Rangoon. The story is: "At the 
beginning of the meeting Netaji was garlanded. 
He had wound the garland of flowers round 
his hand as he spoke, When he finished his 


stirring speech enthusiasm was at fever-heat. 
Then an idea struck him. He asked if any- 
body was ready to buy the garland ; the money 
he would receive would go to the Fauj funds. 

"The first bid was one lakh of rupees. 
In a few minutes the figure swelled. One lakh 
one lakh and a half three lakhs four four 
and a quarter five six seven lakhs ! 

"A young Panjabi youth had been the 
first bidder. When the figure reached four 
and a quarter, he shouted five. When the 
final bid of seven lakhs was being announced, 
he looked vexed and intent on an inner strug- 
gle. As the garland was about to be declared 
sold, he jumped up and rushed to the dais : 'I 
give all my wealth all that I have every pie 
that I own,' he shouted. Subhas Babu caught 
the trembling youth by both his hands. He 
said: 'Done the garland is yours. Patriotic 
men like you deserve the crown of glory our 
Fauj shall win.' 

"But the youth had no ears for anything. 
He had clutched the garland and was pressing 
it to his eyes and his heart. He declared : 
'Now I am freed from earthly possessions, I 
seek membership of the Fauj. I offer my life 
to the cause of our country's freedom.' 

"This miracle in a youth of the idle rich 
class ! Our Netaji had really inspired him. 


That garland of flowers must be dry by now. 
The flowers must have wilted and withered 
and the perfume of death must have surrounded 
the garland. And possibly the fate of the 
flowers will be the fate of this youth tomorrow. 
But he was happy and radiant, a glow lighted 
his eyes as he walked away with it." 

Again on January 23, 1945, the people 
of Burma celebrated the birthday of Netaji. 
The function was held at the Jubilee Hall 
Eangoon, where Netaji also attended, Netaji f 
who had previously been weighed against gold 
four times by the Indians, Malayans and the 
Burmese, was on that occasion presented with 
a crown of gold studded with diamonds and 
other precious stones, by a Burmese merchant, 
who implored him to wear the crown and 
become the duly crowned King of Burma, 
Malaya and India, but Netaji refused to wear 
the crown, stating that "unless and until India 
was freed, he was not prepared to accept or 
wear the crown. "Such was the popularity of 
Netaji", says an account that "the people 
were ready to sacrifice their lives and all their 
worldly belongings at his feet. Netaji had no 
other worry or anxiety but of the future of his 
country. The picture of India, his Motherland, 
was always before his eyes. He had no other 
ambition but to liberate India from the foreign 
domination and raise its status... He used tp 
work as if he were not an ordinary human 


being, but a superman. His power of endur- 
ance was amazing and people used to think 
that he had been working with so much energy 
oi$ly under the spell of some divine inspiration. 
Hi used to snatch little rest or sleep only for 
three hours in 24 hours. He was very regular 
and disciplined in his daily routine." 

The money collected by the Azad Hind 
Government was kept in its own bank known 
as the Azad Hind Bank. It received donations 
in cash and kind which included foodstuffs, 
metalware and all such things that could be 
of use to the Indian .National Army. The 
returns of donations received in November, 
1943 showed 53,43,956 dollars in cash and 
86,310 dollars in jewellery, etc. In July 1944 
the total was 1,53,54,104 dollars. 

The Azad Hind Bank was established in 
Rangoon in April 1944. Mr. Dina Nath, who 
was one of the Directors of this Bank states 
that "the Provisional Government of Azad 
Hind had also decided to finance industry and 
commerce in the territories under its jurisdic- 
tion. The Bank had an authorized capital of 
50 lakhs of rupees and a paid-up capital of 25 
lakhs of rupees, the rupee being equivalent to 
the Japanese dollar. More capital was not 
encouraged as investment facilities were limit- 
ed. The transactions of the Bank extended 
from China to all the countries in South-East 

72 THE STOBY 01 I.N.A, 

Asia, where the Azad Hind Government had 
been purchasing goods and equipment. 

"The Azad Hind currency, which was issued 
in various denominations, bore the signatures of 
Netaji Subhas Bose on one side and the picture 
of the Taj Mahal on the other. The bank had 
a Board of seven directors with Mr. S. A. Ayer, 
Propaganda Minister of the Azad Hind Gov- 
ernment, as Chairman. Branches of the Bank 
in Singapore, Nicobar and the Andamans were 

" For the purpose of financing the Indian 
National Army, a separate cpmmittee, called 
Netaji Fund Committee, was set up. Voluntary 
donations for this fund were received from In- 
dians in South -East Asiatic countries." 

Thus within a brief span of time the Azad 
Hind Government was established on quite 
sound financial basis. It had resources of some 
20 crores of rupees in addition to the produce 
of Ziawadi area. Ziawadi 'was a property, 
about 50 square miles in area, with 15,000 in- 
habitants who were Indians. It had on it a 
sugar factory and various other means of pro- 
duction, agricultural or otherwise, and every 
branch of Administration of that territory 
was carried out by men appointed by the 
Indian National Army and belonging to the 
Azad Hind Dal/ 

A2AD HlrfD aoVflBrfMEJNT? 73 

The Provisional Government of Azad 
Hind had nineteen different departments for 
administration work. Subhas Chandra Bose 
was the Head of the State and Prime Minister 
The following were some of the important 
departments : 

(1) War, (2) Foreign Afifairs, (3) Fi- 
nance, (4) Supply, (5) Recruitment and 
Training, (6) Publicity and Propaganda, 
(7) Women's Organisation, (8) Audit, 
(9) Education, (10) Public Works, (II) Health 
& Public Welfare, (12) Law and Order, 
(13) Judicature, (14) Burma Branch, (15) 
Post- War planning and Reconstruction. 

The Azad Hind Dal was specially organ- 
ised by the Government with the object of 
preparing civilians for the administration of 
the territories liberated by the Indian National 
Army. It was an institution where selected 
people were taken in and trained in civil ad- 
ministration in Singapore. The training centre 
was afterwards shifted to Rangoon. 

Education of children in general was 
another important feature of the Azad Hind 
Government. Education was imparted on 
nationalistic lines. The curriculum consisted 
of Indian National History ; Lives of great 
Indian leaders like Gandhi, Tilak, C. R. Das ; 

94 TEtB StOEY Otf I.N.A. 

Hindustani language ; Indian Geography ; 
Music and National Songs ; Nature study ; 
Handwork and Drawing ; Arithmatic ; Moral 
and Mental training, and Hygiene. Besides 
the students were given practical Training in 
certain useful industrial arts like soap-making 
ink-making, electroplating, water purifying, 
repairing articles of common use like the 
bicycle, gramophone, clock etc.; Gardening, 
physical- training, and elementary infantry 
training were also part and parcel of the edu- 
cation. In the evenings two hours were devot- 
ed by every school for teaching adults. 

A children's force was also being trained 
by the Azad Hind Government. It was known 
as * Balak Sena*. It was probably something 
like the Boy Scouts Movement, but details 
about it are lacking. 

The Propaganda and Publicity Depart- 
ment of the Azad Hind Government was 
equally important. It possessed four Radio 
Stations for propaganda work. Besides a daily 
paper 'Purni Swaraj\ and a weekly magazine 
'Azad Hind' were issued under its authority. 
The Government also issued a Civil Gazette of 
its own from time to time. 

The Azad Hind Government is reported 
to have prepared its own postal stamps. Under 
the caption "Imphal Stamp that failed" the 


Stamp Collecting, a London magazine in its 
issue of November 19, 1945 writes : 

"So confident were the Japs that they would 
occupy Imphal, when they invaded Southern 
Assam that they actually prepared a special 
issue of stamps for use there. Needless to say 
these stamps failed to materialise, but our 
correspondent, Flying Officer, T.A. Broomhead, 
informs us that he had seen proof impressions 
in the hands of the man who was responsible 
for the printing (in Rangoon). Two denomi- 
nations appear to have been prepared, viz. 9 
3 pice plum and 1 anna red, both in the same 
design and roughly perforated Iljx9j 
(approx). The subject of the vignette (illustr- 
ated) is the old Mogul Portress at Old Delhi 
accompanied by the slogan "On to Delhi". 
BHingual inscription reads "PROVISIONAL 
it became evident that the Imphal stamps 
would not be required, the dies were destroyed 
and the bulk supply of sheets printed in readi- 
ness was burnt with the exception of a small 
quantity salvaged by the printer". Thus the 
Provisional Government of Free India "had 
got prepared, issued or were about to issue 
postal stamps of that character. 9 ' 

The Azad Hind Government or the 
Provisional Government of Free India was 
recognised as a Free Government by the follow- 
ing powers ; 


Germany, Italy, Japan, Croatia,, 
churia, the Philippines, the Nanking Govern- 
ment, Siam, Burma, and the Irish Free State. 

On February 17, 1944 at the Far Eastern 
Asiatic Conference held at Tokyo, the Anda- 
mans and Nicobar Islands were ceded by the 
Japanese to the Provisional Government of 
Azad Hind. Accordingly Netaji sent Colonel 
Loganadan as Chief Commissioner of the 
Islands, where with due ceremony held at the 
Indian Independence League Headquarters at 
Port Blair, the Andamans and Nicobars were 
formally handed over to him. 

Next, the Japanese Government also 
ceded to the Azad Hind Government the 
Ziawadi territory, and also agreed to hand over 
any other areas on the Indian soil which the 
Japanese forces acquired. Thus the Azad 
Hind Government "administered for a period 
of four to six months the Manipur and Vishnu- 
pur areas" as well. In this connection, Mr. 
Bhulabhai Desai stated in his Defence State- 
ment of the I. N. A, case : "By right of con- 
quest it (Japan), was in a position to dispose 
as it liked of the whole or any portion of any 
territory and as the witness told you clearly, 
by reason of the agreement between the Pro- 
visional Government and the Nippon Govern- 
ment, this territory was handed over as a part 
of the liberated territory to the I. N. A. and! 


the Azad Hind Dal... It has been proved 
beyond question. . . that as soon as the I. N. A. 
crossed the borders of Burma into India a pro- 
clamation was issued in two parts, one signed 
by the Head of the Indian State and the other 
signed by General Kawabe under the orders of 
the South Eastern Command. In that it was 
distinctly stated that any part of the Indian 
territory which would be acquired by conquest 
or otherwise by the Japanese Army would be 
handed over, to the I. N. A. for the purpose 
of forming part of the liberated territory and 
to be administered by them. That is the his- 
tory of the ceding." 

The Japanese also sent an Ambassador 
to the Provisional Government of Azad Hind 
at Rangoon. He arrived in Rangoon without 
letters of credit or his credentials, and sought 
Netaji's audience. It mattered little, as he 
stated his credentials were to follow hiqa, but 
Netaji refused to see him without having 
examined his papers of introduct^ 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. T " 
had according to the desire^ 
back his home Government fq 
which were accordingly prd 
the Japanese Emperor, arf 
Rangoon. In this connectiol 
"The sending Government in' 
required, actually sent lettef 
the fact that it reached or did 


not affect the issue ; at all events it completely 
cured such defect or deficiency as there was 
in the procedure. And in point of fact I ask 
the Court to hold that there was a duly 
appointed Minister, which is all that arises 
here. The reason why we brought in the evi- 
dence was among other things that the Pro- 
visional Government of Azad Hind was a 
properly organized Government, and accepted; 
and the acceptance does not require necessarily 
the sending of an envoy, or an ambassador, or 
a minister, whatever the position or the rela- 
tion between the Governments may be." 

Thus, the Azad Hind Government, instead 
of being an instrument in the hands of the 
Japanese Government, was in fact using the 
latter as means for liberating India. According 
to their mutual agreement all liberated parts 
of India were to be handed over to the I. N. A., 
and the Japanese did in fact cede to the Azad 
Hind Government the Andamans and Nicoba'r, 
the Ziawadi, and Manipur and Vishnupur areas 
covering about 15,000 square miles. Thus, the 
Azad Hind Government possessed all the neces- 
sary features, of an independent, sovereign 
state, and had a clear and well-defined objec- 
tive which was nothing else than the liberation 
of India through the Indian National Army, 
and the establishment of freedom and liberty 
in this country. 


The Indian National Army which during 
the last few months has captured the imagina- 
tion of every person in this country, was 
voluntary army, organized, trained and officered 
solely by Indians. It had a separate General 
staff and Headquarters. It fought under a 
Commander of its own, had distinctive uniforms, 
and followed the rules of war. 

The first Indian National Army was 
formed almost immediately after the fall of 
Singapore in February, 1942. One of the main 
reasons why men and officers of the Indian 
Army joined the I. N. A., is given by Captain 
Arshad as under : 

". . . in the Indian Army there had been 
distinction between the British officers and the 
Indian commissioned officers. The Indian 
commissioned officers had not been treated as 
well as our English comrades or brother officers. 
We also felt that if the senior officers present 
in Singapore or in Malaya did not join the 
I. N. A. it was quite possible that the Japanese 
would exploit the Indian prisoners of war, 

80 TUB STOfcY Otf I.N.A. 

because then the Indian prisoners of war would 
be split, up into small groups. Some people 
would join and some would not, and the Japa- 
nese would take advantage of that and enrol 
people from amongst the prisoners of war who 
would be willing to do any service for them. 
We felt that that would be a disgrace to 
Indians. We agreed that if the senior officers 
joined the I.N.A. and formed a strong party 
and organised the T.N.A. as a regular army and 
fought the Japanese on every point regarding 
the Army, we would have a far stronger 
position with the Japanese than otherwise. 
We also felt that if we created an army of our 
own, we may be able to establish a certain 
amount of standing with the Japanese, and by 
doing that we may be able te stop the Japa- 
nese from committing any atrocities on the 
Indians in Malaya. We had seen what the 
Japanese were doing to the Chinese and Anglo- 
Indians and the Malayans. They were not 
treating them very well. Certain atrocities 
had been committed on the Chinese and also 
on the Eurasian community, and we thought 
that if the Indians refused to join the I.N.A. 
it was quite possible that the whole of the 
Indian community in Singapore or in Malaya 
might suffer. So we had a discussion on all 
these points. But then arose the question 
that if we did join the Indian National Army, 
what would be the reaction of our people in 
India ?" 

Commander, Rani of Jhaosi Regiment 


Thus, from the very beginning there was 
a general feeling that the I.N.A. should not be 
subordinated to the Japanese forces. And 
when in December 1942 the Japanese wanted 
to take away those of the Indian Prisoners of 
War who had not joined the LN.A., Captain' 
Mohan Singh felt that the Japanese were not 
keeping their words, and he refused to hand 
over those persons. This along with reasons 
specified in a previous section of the book 
led to the suspension of the first I.N.A. until 
July 1943 when Subhas Chandra Bose took up 
the supreme command of the Army and re- 
constructed it on proper lines without being 
subordinated to the Japanese. The I.N.A. 
then established with the Japanese Army as 
Allies actuated by the main motive of securing 
the freedom of India. The members of the 
I.N.A. were clearly told that "if and when we 
fight with our Allies, the Japanese nation, it 
should not happen that we remain as second 
rate in the fight and thus disgrace our nation. 
When "we reach India we shall meet Indian men 
and women, and those (women) who are elders 
to us we should consider them as mothers and 
those who are younger we should consider 
them as our daughters and sisters, and if any- 
body will not obey these instructions he will 
be shot dead ; and if and when India is freed 
and the Japanese who are now helping us 
tried to subdue us, we shall even fight them. . . 
and if a Japanese gives you one slap, you give 


him three in return, because our Government 
is parallel to their Japanese Government, and 
we are in no way subservient to them, and 
that when we reach India, if we notice any 
Japanese maltreating an Indian lady, he should 
be warned by word of mouth not to do so, but 
if he continued to do so, we were at liberty to 
use force and even shoot him in order to pre- 
vent it, because the fight which we are making 
now is for the freedom and well-being of India 
and not for the benefit of the Japanese." 

Thus the Indian National Army was 
completely independent of the Japanese con- 
trol save in unified command on occasions of 
higher strategy, which, of course, was un- 
avoidable as the Japanese had better know- 
ledge of the art of war. 

The Indian National Army was very well- 
constituted and fully organized in every sense 
of the word, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose 
was the Supreme Commander, who was assisted 
by a War Council consisting of the following 
eleven members : 

1. Col. J. K. Bhonsle. 

2. Col. M. Z. Kiani. 

3. Lt. Col. Ehsan Qadir. 

4. Lt. Col. Aziz Ahmad Khan. 

5. Lt. Col. Habib-ur-Rehmaa. 


6. Lt. Col. Oulzara Singh. 

7. Sri N. Raghavan 

8. Sri S. A. Ayer. 

9. Sri Farmanand. 

10. Col. A. C. Chatter ji, Secretary. 

11. Sri A. Yellappa, Co-opted Member. 

The Defence Department which was under 
the charge of Col. J. K. Bhonsle consisted of 
the following personnel : 

1. 'G' Lt.-Col. Shah Nawaz Khan, C.G.S. 

2. Chief Administrator-Lt. Colonel A. D. 

3. D. P. M.-Major Abdur Rashid. 

4. Military Secretary-Major P. K. Sahgal. 

5. Finance-Captain Krishna Murti. 

6. 0. T. S. Lt. Col.-Habib-ur-Rehman. 

7. Reinforcements-Major Mata-ul-Mulk. 

8. 'A'-Major C. J. Stracy. 

9. Legal and Judicial-Captain D. C. Nag. 

10. 'Q -Major K. P. Thimaya. 

11. D. M. S.-Captain S. N. Dey. 

12. Establishment-Lt. D. C. Dutta. 

13. Enlightenment Culture-Major A. D. 


According to a document of April 17, 
1943, the Army was under the command of 
Lt. Col. M. Z. Kiani, and consisted of the 
following branches : 

84 THE STORY 07 I.N.A. 

(1) General Staff Branch : 

(a) Operations Plans 

(6) Special Duties Branch. 

(e) Training Branch. 

(2) A/Q Branch. 

(3) Medical Branch : 

(a) Base Hospitals. 

(b) Medical Aid Parties. 

(4) "A" Branch : 

(a) Establishment. 

(b) Employment Planning. 

(5) "0" Branch: 

(a) Ordnance (i) Technical, (ii) Non- 


(b) Supply and 

The composition of the Indian National 
Army was as under : 

(1) Headquarters (composition as above). 

(2) I Hind Field Group under the command of 

Lt.-Col, S. M. Hussain. 

(3) Guerrilla Eegiments consisting of : 

(a) Bose Brigade under Lt. CoL Shah 
Nawaz Khan. 


(b) Gandhi Brigade under Lt. Col. I. J. 

Kiani * 

(c) Azad Brigade under Major Gulzara 


(d) Nehru Brigade under Lt. Col. Aziz 

Ahmad Khan. 

(4) Intelligence Group under Major S. A. Malik. 

(5) Bahadur Group under Lt. Col. Burhan- 


The Army consisted of three Divisions. 
No. 1 incorporated the Guerrilla Regiments; 
No. 2 composed partly of Indian Military 
prisoners of war and partly of civilians; and 
No. 3 composed of civilians mostly recruited 
by the Indian Independence League in Malaya. 

Various figures are given regarding the 
strength of the Indian National Army, but the 
official total strength was in the tune of 40,000 
heads. Recruits were drawn both from the 
Indian prisoners of war and from the Indian 
civilians of the South-East Asia. The troops were 
dressed in Khaki like British Indian troops and 
were organized on lines similar to those of the 
British Indian Army. Officers and men of the 
L N. A. wore a badge about 1J inches in length 
and 1 inch in width on the left side of the 
forage cap. On the top of the badge were 

86 THE STOEY 07 I.V.A. 

inscribed the word| "I. N. A." with a map of 
India in the centflfe. At the bottom of the 
badge were inscribed in Roman script : 
"Ittifaq ; Etmad and Qurbani" meaning Unity, 
Confidence and Sacrifice. They also used to 
wear another badge on the right side of their 
uniform. It was 1 inch by 1 inch in size, and 
was marked with the tri-colour map of India. 
A locket-sized badge bearing a miniature of 
Netaji was worn on the left side of the uniform 
by all members of the I. N. A* 

Officers and men of the various Guerrilla 
Brigades had badges of different colours for 
the sake of distinction. Each Brigade was 
assigned a particular colour for the badge in 
the following order : 

1. Bose Brigade Bed and green 

2. Gandhi Brigade Green 

3. Nehru Brigade Brown 

4. Azad Brigade White. 

Each battalion was assigned the colour 
identical to that of its Brigade for the purpose 
pf the badges, but the jnen had to wear them 
according to the undermentioned order of 
their shapes ; 

No. 1 Battalion Round 
No, fi Battalion Triangular 
No. 3 Battalion Square. 


The officers of the LN.A. had the follow- 
ing distinguishing marks on their shoulder- 
straps : 

Colonel Golden star between two bars, and red 
tap on collar supporting a golden bar on 
either side. 

Captain Three blue bars. 
Lieutenant Two blue bars. 
Sub-Lieutenant One blue bur. 
Subordinate officers no bar. 

The Azad Hind Government had aimed to 
recruit and train up 300,000 men pledged to 
fight for India. The said Government had 
collected sufficient money for the purpose and 
opened four training centres where 7,000 soldi- 
ers could be trained at one time. For officers 
there were Training Centres at Singapore and 
Rangoon from where some 1500 cadets graduat- 
ed during the course of the war. 

In the Indian National Army there was 
no difference between a man and a man. All 
were treated on the same footing irrespective 
of caste, creed or colour. Their only ambition 
was to liberate India from the foreign domin- 
ation. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs were all 
one for the achievement of this aim. They ate 
from one kitchen, in common plates, drank from 
common mugs, all officers and common soldiers 
Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. They kept the 


picture of India, their common Motherland al- 
ways before there eyes, and saluated with " JAI 
HIND" the national Tricolour. That was the 
spirit of the I* N. A. 

The Women's Organization of the I. N. A. 
was also an important wing of the Fauj, A 
women's Regiment was raised in July, 1943 
under the command of Captain Mrs. Laxmi 
Sawaminathan. The members of this Regi- 
ment were drawn from the Indian civilian 
population of the South-East Asia. The 
Regiment was named after the famous Rani 
of Jhansi, who had died fighting bravely 
against the British forces in 1857, and consist- 
ed of 856 women trained for active service. 
Mrs. Laxmi as the Captain of the Regiment 
played a unique part in inspiring and 
organising the women into Red Cross units, 
reKef squads, ambulance workers and emer- 
gency nurees. 

Officers and men of the Indian National 
Army were regularly paid in cash by the 
Government of Azad Hind besides being provi- 
ded with food, clothing, etc. They were 
distinctly told that since the Fauj was fighting 
for the freedom of their Motherland, each 
member thereof had to make a sacrifice, physi- 
cally and materially. The rates of pay were 
therefore fixed as under : 


Colonel Rs. 400 ; Major Rs. 180 ; Captain 
Rs. 125 ; Lieutenants Rs. 80 per mensem. 

The Indian National Army went into 
action on February 4, 1944. The distribution 
of the forces was : 

1. Assam Front One Division 

2. Rangoon One Division 

3. Malaya One Division. 

Half the soldiers in these Divisions were 
the Indian prisoners of war and the other half 
were Indian civilian volunteers. There was 
no Japanese soldier or officer in them. Each 
of these Divisions had four brigades. The 
first Division which fought in Imphal and in 
the Arakan comprised of the following brigades: 

1. Subhas Brigade : Commanding Col, Shah Nawaz 

Khan, 3,200 men. 

2. Gandhi Brigade : Commanding Col. I. Z. Kiani, 

2800 men. 

3. Azad Brigade : Commanding Col. Gulzara 

Singh, 2800 men. 

4. Nehru Brigade : Commanding Col. G. S. 

Dhillon, 3000 men. 

The Indian National Army, in spite of 
serious handicaps, had a very good start. It 

00 THB 8TOBY OJf I.K.A. 

had neither any planes nor any lorries for 
transport of men and material. Its soldiers 
had to carry everything kits, munition, 
supplies for themselves. Against them the 
British conducted their military operations at 
Imphal and Kohima under the Allied Command 
treating them as part of the total war efforts 
the Allied power. 

The I. N. A., with the Japanese help soon 
surrounded Imphal. On February 9, 1944, 
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose issued a Special 
Order of the Day : 

"The eyes of the whole world are focus- 
sed on the Arakan Front, where events of far 
reaching consequences are taking place today* 
The glorious and brilliant actions of the brave 
units of Azad Hind Fauj working in close 
concert with the forces of the Imperial Nippon 
Army, have helped to foil all attempts by the 
Anglo-American forces to start counter-offen- 
sive in this sector. 

" I am sure that the brave deeds of our 
comrades on the Arakan Front will be a great 
inspiration to all the officers and men of the 
Azad Hind Fauj wherever they may be station- 
ed at the present moment. Our long awaited 
march to Delhi has begun and with grim deter- 
mination we shall continue that march until 
the tricolour National Flag that is flying over 


the Arakan mountains is hoisted over the Vice- 
regal Lodge and until we hold our victory 
parade at the ancient Red Fortress of Delhi. 

" Comrades, officers and men of India's 
Army of Liberation : Let there be one solemn 
resolve in your hearts 'Either Liberty or 
death.' And let there be but one slogan on 
your lips : 'Onward to Delhi.' The road to 
Delhi is the road to freedom. Victory will 
certainly be ours." 

On March 18, 1944 the LN.A. captured 
Tiddim and crossed the Indo-Burma Frontier 
for the first time. The Japanese armies joined 
them in the plains of Imphal. Their allied 
forces first cut off the road to Dinapur and 
thereafter captured Eishenpur and Kohima. 
The Japanese G.O.C. on the North Burma 
Front, General Moto Cuchi at this juncture 
promised full aid to the advancing armies of 
the LN.A., and it appeared that the Azad 
Hind Forces would sweep over India with 
tremendous speed. But the British rushed up 
reinforcements by air and land and retook 
Kohima. The LN.A. on the other hand soon 
ran short of its supplies. The Japanese could 
not keep their promise, and on the contrary 
started ill-treating LN.A. soldiers. Shah 
Nawaz Khan writes in his Diary on March 30, 
1044 that "the Japanese are using LN.A. 
Crack Regiment as labourers. I am going to 


Haka today to see Kimewari in this connec- 
tion. I wonder what is going to be the out- 
come. Left Falam at 15,00 hours for Haka." 

In the circumstances the LN.A. had to 
lift the siege of Imphal. On June 27, Shah 
Nawaz Khan writes : "My men did not receive 
any rations. 4 Gharwallis have died of starva- 
tion. I and Bam Sarup have approached 
Hikari Kikan to do something about the 
rations. They seem NOT to take the least 
notice of it. I do not know what is the idea 
behind this deliberate starvation of my men." 

This state of affairs continued and Shah 
Nawaz Khan writes on July 15 : "Due to 
starvation men are dying like flies. Some 
committing suicide. Japanese are giving no 
help". On August 3, in the absence of any 
money or supplies of food-stuffs, Shah Nawaz 
Khan got a suggestion from the Japanese that 
his sick men at Teraun should commit suicide. 
In the meantime, since the monsoons had set 
in, Netaji issued orders for* the postponement 
of operations. In his Special Order of the 
Day issued on August 14, 1944 Netaji writes : 

" In the middle of March this year, 
advanced unite of the Azad Hind Fauj, fight- 
ing shoulder to shoulder with their valiant 
allies, the Imperial Nippon Forces, crossed the 
Indo-Burma border and the fight for Indja's 


liberation thereupon commenced on Indian 

"The British authorities, by ruthlessly 
exploiting India for over a century and bring- 
ing foreign soldiers to fight their battles for 
them, had managed to put up a mighty force 
against us. After crossing the Indo-Burma 
border, our forces inspired by the righteousness 
of our cause, encountered these numerically 
superior and better equipped but heterogenous 
and disunited forces of the enemy and defeated 
them in every battle. 

"Our units, with their better training and 
discipline and unshakable determination to do 
or die on the path of India's freedom, soon 
established their superiority over the enemy 
whose morale deteriorated with each defeat* 
Fighting under the most trying conditions, our 
officers and men displayed such courage and 
heroism that they have earned the praise of 
every body. With their blood and sacrifice, 
these heroes have established traditions which 
the future soldiers of Free 
to uphold. 

"All preparations h 
and the stage had been set 
on Imphal when torrenti 
and to carry Imphal by an 
a practical impossibility. 


"Handicapped by the elements, w0 were 
forced to postpone our offensive. After the 
postponement of the offensive, it was found 
disadvantageous for our troops to continue to 
hold the line that we then had. For securing 
a more favourable defensive position, it was 
considered advisable to withdraw our troops. 
In accordance with this decision, our troops 
have withdrawn to a more favourable defensive 
position. We shall now utilise the period in 
full in completing our preparations, so that 
with the advent of better weather, we may be 
in a position to resume our offensive ... As 
soon as all our preparations are complete, we 
shall launch a mighty offensive against our 
enemies once again. With the superior fight* 
ing qualities, dauntless courage and unshak- 
able devotion to duty of our officers and men, 
victory shall surely be ours. 

"May the souls of those heroes, who 
have fallen in this campaign inspire us to still 
nobler deeds of heroism and bravery in the 
next phase of India's War* of Liberation. Jai 

The second campaign of the l.N.A. 
began in January 1945 when Netaji addressing 
his men at the Mingaladan Camp in Rangoon 
tried to infuse a spirit of enthusiasm and sac- 
rifice amongst them. * . 


He spoke : 

" Last year the I.N.A. faced the enemy 
on the battld-field for the first time. The 
deeds of the I.N.A. were glorious : they were 
beyond any expectations and won the praise of 
both friend and foe. We dealt the enemy a 
crushing defeat wherever we fought him. 
Without being defeated we had, as a tactical 
move, to bring back our forces from the 
Imphal front due to bad weather and other 

"Now we have tried to overcome these 
difficulties. But everyone should remember 
that our army is a revolutionary army. We 
are not so-well equipped in man-power as our 
enemies are. Our enemies have decided that 
they will fight their first battle for the defence 
of India in Assam and they have made this 
area India's Stalingrad. 

"This year will be the decisive year of 
the war. The fate of India's freedom will be 
decided near the hills of Imphal and on the 
plains of Chittagong. Last year some of our 
men joined the enemy. I do not want even a 
single man to go over to the enemy this time 
when we go to the front. Therefore, if anyone 
thinks that he is incapable of going to the 
front due to weakness or cowardice or for any 
other reason he should report to his regimental 


Commander and arrangements will be made to 
keep him at the base. 

" I do not wish to paint a very rosy 
picture to you. You vrill have to face hunger, 
thirst and other hardships and even death 
when you go to the front. Because the enemy 
has made the utmost preparations, we too 
shall have to mobilize all our resources. 

" In addition to the present slogan of the 
I.N.A., namely 'Chalo Delhi', another slogan 
will be added from today, and that will be : 
* Khoon, Khoon, Khoon '. This means that we 
shall shed our blood for the freedom of 40 
crores of people in India. Similarly, we shall 
shed the blood of the enemy for the same 
cause. The slogan for Indian civilians who 
are in the south will be : * Karo aab nichawar, 
bano sab fakir 9 (sacrifice everything, become 
all paupers)." 

The renewed campaign of the Indian 
National Army lasted from January to August 
1945. The Subhas, Gandhi and Nehru Bri- 
gadds fought bravely and suffered great losses 
to stem the tide of the British 14th Army into 
Burma. On the 1st March, 1945 the following 
units and formations of the I.N.A. were op- 
erating : 

1. Advance Div. H.Qrs. 

2. H* Q. No. 1 Inf. Regiment* 


3. 2/1 Inf. Regiment. 

4- H. Qrs. No. 2 Inf. Regiment- 

5- 2/2 Inf. Rehiment. 

6. H. Qrs. No. 4 Guerrilla Regiment. 

7. 2/4 Guerrilla Regiment. 
8- No. 1 Anti-Tank Coy. 
9. No. 2A.B. Q.D. 

10- No. 2M.E-S. 

11. No. 2 Workshop. 

12. P.O.L. Section. 

13. No. 4 Engineer Coy. 

14. Main Div. H. Qrs. 

15. 1/1 Infantry Regiment. 

16. 1/2 
17- 3/1 

18. 3/2 

19. 1/4 Guerrilla 

20. 3/4 

21. No. 2 Div. Signals. 

22. No.2F.P.S,C. 

23. Pt. Amn. Dump. 

24. No.2S.LS. 

25. Medical Aid Party. 

26. Dett. M,P. 

But the advance of the 14th Army could 
not be checked without heavy reinforcements, 
supplies and air support. The Japanese air- 
power gave no assistance, and the lines of sup- 
plies were cut off. The result was starvation, 
death and devastation for the I.N.A. 

98 THE STORY 0* I.N.A. 

Early in March the second Division of 
the I. N. A. under Shah Nawaz Khan, and the 
Nehru Guerrilla Brigade under Col. Dhillon 
started operations between Popa and Mandalay. 
From there the Japanese began to disappear 
leaving the I. N. A. alone in the field. But 
they did not in any way lose heart Col. Dhillon 
in his Intelligence Summary dated March 3, 
1945 writes : "Nothing much happened during 
these days. Patrol activity from our side 
continued. Enemy tried to encircle the Guer- 
rilla party in the vicinity of Tibu, but failed. 
Our Patrols went up to Seiktien and Welaung 
and got information that enemy has gone 
towards Taungtha. ..Most of the civilians are 
pro-Americans as they are given rice, milk, 
cigarettes, P. T. shoes and clothes by the 
enemy. OYE parties had to pretend that 
they were on the Americans' side in order to 
get information from the civilians. It was 
also found out that the enemy was strong in 
medium and light tanks as^ well as carriers. 
Following form the enemy : 

"Americans Not much. 

"Indians, Gurkhas, Negroes, Chinese and 

"One of our parties was very heavily 
bombed at a place about six miles from Popa 
in the Northerly direction." 


To keep up the morale of the I. N. A. 
Netaji issued another Special Order of the Day 
on March 13, 1945. He wrote : "Comrades ! 
As you all know, the positive achievement of 
the officers and men of the Azad Hind Fauj 
last year on the field of battle and the victories 
that they scored over the enemy through their 
patriotism, bravery and self-sacrifice, were 
marred to some extent by the cowardice and 
treachery of a few officers and men. We were 
hoping that with the advent of the New Year 
all traces of cowardice and treachery would be 
wiped out, and that in this year's operations 
the Azad Hind Fauj would be able to put up 
an unsullied record of heroism and self-sacrifice. 
But that was not to be. The recent treachery 
of five officers of the H. Q. of the 2nd Division 
has come as an eye-opener to us that all is not 
well within our ranks and that the seeds of 
cowardice and treachery have yet to be wiped 
out. If we now succeed in exterminating 
cowardice and treachery once for all, this 
shameful and despicable incident may, through 
God's grace, ultimately prove to be a blessing 
in disguise. I am, therefore, determined to 
take all possible measures necessary for the 
purification of our Army. I am confident that in 
this I shall have your full and unstinted support. 

"In order to destroy completely the 
germs of cowardice and treachery, the follow- 
ing measures will have to be adopted : 

100 THE 8TOET OF I.V.A. 

" 1. Every member of the Azad Hind 
Fauj, officer, N. C. 0. or Sepoy will, in future 
be entitled to arrest any other member of the 
Azad Hind Fauj, no matter what his rank may 
be, if he leaves in a cowardly manner or to 
shoot him if he acts in a treacherous manner. 

"2. I am giving an opportunity to all 
members of the Azad Hind Fauj who may not 
feel inclined to work dutifully or fight courage- 
ously in future to leave the rank of the Azad 
Hind Fauj. This offer will be open for ono 
week from the time of its communication. 

"3. In addition to giving an opportu- 
nity to unwilling elements to leave voluntarily 
the ranks of the Azad Hind Fauj, I want to 
carry out thorough purge of our Army. During 
the course of this purge, all those will be re- 
moved against whom there is suspicion that 
they may fail us, or betray us, at the critical 
moment. In order to carry out this purge 
successfully I want your fullest co-operation 
and I want you, therefore, to give me and my 
trusted officers all available information about 
any cowardly or treacherous elements that 
may still exist in our Army. 

"4. It will not be enough to carrv out a 
thprongh purge now. In future, also, vigilance 
will have to QOiitinue. It will, therbfore, be 
the duty of every ifcetaber x>f Azad Hiiid JPatq, 


in future, to keep his eyes and ears open in 
order to detect in good time any tendency 
towards cowardice or treachery, In future if 
any member of the Azad Hind Fauj detects 
any tendency towards cowardice or treachery 
he should report at once, either orally or in 
writing either to me or to the officers who may 
be within reach. In other words, from now 
onVards and for all times, every member of 
the Azad Hind Fauj should regard himself as 
the custodian of the honour and reputation of 
the Azad Hind Fauj and of the Indian Nation. 

"5, After the purge has been carried 
out and unwilling elements have been given an 
opportunity of leaving our Array, if there is 
any case of cowardice or treachery, the punish- 
ment will be death. 

"6. In order to create within our army 
a ' moral bulwark against cowardice and 
treachery, we have to create an intense hatred 
against cowardice and treachery in any form. 
A strong feeling has to be created in the mind 
of .every member of this army that for a mem- 
ber of a revolutionary army, there is no crime 
more heinous arid despicable than to be a 
coward or a traitor. Instructions are being 
issued separately as to how we can create 
such an intense hate against cowardide ajad 
txteachery so that there will be no more cowards 
or trailers within our ranks, 


"7. After the purge has been carried out, 
every member of the Azad Hind Fauj will be 
required to renew his oath to fight on bravely 
and courageously until the emancipation of 
our dear Mother-land is achieved. Instruc- 
tions regarding the form and manner of this 
oath will be issued separately. 

"8. Special rewards will be given to 
those who give information regarding cowardly 
and treacherous elements or who arrest or 
shoot at the front cowardly and treacherous 

This served as a powerful incentive to 
the men of the I.N.A., but the difficulties and 
privations on the front combined with the 
counter-propaganda of the British Indian 
forces attracted some of the officers and men of 
the Fauj who began to desert their compan- 
ions. In this respect an interesting note 
appears in Col. P.. K. Sahgal's Diary : "The 
three most salient features regarding these 
desertions from No. 646 unit are : 

" (a) All the officers who have deserted, 
h4 here to work most sincerely and (were) 
considered very outstanding. Specially note- 
worthy among them were Lt. Khazin Shah, 
Lk Yaein Khan, Lt. Ganga Singh, 2/Lt. 
Chain Singh, 2/Lt. Balwant Singh, S.O, Barfi 
Earn, S.0 Abdul Hakim, and Hav. Baldev 


Singh. On many occasions these officers had 
proved their devotion to the cause, and fought 
bravely and I had no occasion whatsoever to 
doubt their loyalty. 

"(6) None of the officers who have gone 
over, ever showed cowardice, and right upto 
the time they went over, they fought most 

On the 2nd. when the enemy approached 
our positions, Lt. Yasin Khan personally 
manned a Machine Gun and opened fire on the 
enemy and throughout the action, under heavy 
enemy artillery fire, he was going from post to 
post keeping up the morale of the men. On 
the night of the 29th when my party had been 
ambushed, 2/Lt. Balwant Singh, S.O. Barfi 
Bam and Hav. Baldev Singh showed complete 
disregard for their personal Safety and fought 
most bravely. . . 

"(c) Not a single person ever showed 
cowardice in the face of the enemy. Our po- 
sitions were attacked by very superior 
numbers, but not a single person ever left his 
post. We, with small Units, attacked the 
enemy much superior in numbers and in arma- 
ments, but not a single soldier ever wavered. 
There was no desertion from a Unit as long as 
the Unit was in contact with the enemy, on 
the contrary, the Units fought with unrivalled 
determination and utmost bravery,. . 

104 ?HB SfOBY OlT I.N.A. 

"After a very careful study of these points 
and the circumstances under which the unit 
fought) I am of the opinion that these desertions 
were mainly due to the following causes : ;> 

"(i) Turkey's alignment alongside the 
anti-axis powers has had a very ad- 
verse effect on certain Muslim Officers. 
In spite of our efforts to explain to 
them the circumstances under which 
Turkey has been forced to join the 
War, the officers feel that by fighting 
against powers that are allied with 
the Turks, they arc being disloyal 
to Islam. 

"(u) In the minds of a number of officers 
and men there is a lack of faith in 
our final victory. They are in their 
own minds convinced that the Anglo- 
Americans are going to win the war 
and it is futile to carry on the 

*'(iii) In this particular operation, after the 
desertion of Lt. Yasin Khan and his 
companions, there was a general feel- 
ing among the officers and men of 
the Unit that it was .useless to con- 
tinue fighting against the enemy, so 
superior in numbers and armaments 
and helped by the traitors, who hftd 


gone over to his side. Majority of 
these officers, under normal circum- 
stances, would never have done 
anything treacherous, but finding 
themselves so overwhelmed, they did 
not have the moral strength to 
continue the straggle and decided to 
save themselves by going over to the 

"Before 1 conclude this report, I feel it 
my duty to pay a tribute to the steadfastness, 
devotion to duty and bravery of those of the 
officers and men who fought most courageously 
and desperately against heavy odds and checked 
the enemy from penetrating our positions. 
Thinned in numbers, exhausted by hunger and 
thirst, weary both in mind and body, these 
brave soldiers of the A.H.P. (Azad Hind Fauj) 
tenaciously hung on to their posts until the 
arrival of the Nippon force../' 

Fatigue, starvation and desertion of 
companions unnerved the veterans of the I.N. A. 
Their morale was running very low, quite on 
the verge of break-down. Col. Sahgal, there- 
fore, issued a Special Order of the day to the 
officers and men of the H. A. F. No, 2 Division 
on the front which runs as follows : 

"Sathio ! We have the privilege of fighting 
in the foremost ranks of A.H.F.; so it behoves 

106 THE STOBY OF t.K.A. 

every one of us to be prepared to make the 
supreme sacrifice to uphold the honour and 
glory of Free India. 

"Enemies of India have managed to 
cross over to the left bank of the Irrawadi and 
our valiant allies, the Nipponese, are fighting 
grimly to defeat and annihilate this enemy. 

"Owing to the heavy losses suffered by 
the enemy, their morale has gone very low. 
They are entirely depending upon their air 
support to carry on fighting, but whenever 
they have been attacked by our forces, they 
have always fled from tha battlefield. 

"In the name of thousands of martyrs 
who have patiently suffered for the cause of 
Free India, and in the name of the heroes of the 
A. H. F. who have sacrificed their lives at the 
altar of India's Independence, I call upon all 
the officers and men of No. 2 Division of Azad 
Hind Fauj to hunt for the enemies of India and 
destroy them wherever they may be found. 
Jai Hind." w 

Thus, the I. N. A. continued its fight 
against heavy odds undeterred even when it 
admitted the superiority of the enemy and 
clearly saw that the end was not far off. "We 
are prepared to continue fighting in the front 
line", said Col. G. S. Dhillon in a letter to Col. 


Shah Nawaz Khan. "We will sacrifice our 
lives to maintain the honour of Azad Hind 
Fauj. Water or no water, rations or no 
rations, will not affect our fighting capacity. . . 
assuring you that we will fight up to the 

As a reply to this, Netaji encouraged 
Col. Dhillon and his men on the front: "I 
have been following the work of your Regi- 
ment and of yourself with the closest interest, 
and I want to congratulate you on the manner 
in which you have stood up to face bravely the 
situation that is so difficult. I want to express 
my complete confidence in you and in all 
those who are standing by you in the present 

"Whatever happens to us individually in 
the course of this historic struggle, there is no 
power on earth that can keep India enslaved 
any longer. Whether we live and work, or 
whether we die fighting, we must, under all 
circumstances, have a complete confidence 
that the cause for which we are striving is 
bound to triumph. It is the finger of God 
that is pointing the way towards India's 
freedom. We have only to do our duty and 
to pay the price of India's liberty. Our hearts 
are with you and with all who are with you 
in the present struggle which is paving the 
way to our national salvation. Please convey 


my warmest greetings to all the officers and 
men under you and accept same yourself. 
May God bless you and crown your efforts 
with success. Jai Hind." 

Charged as if by the electric current of 
Netaji's words, Col. Dhillon and his men on 
the front dashed forth with unprecedented 
bravery and courage, and upon a flat piece of 
land without any cover, jumped upon the 
enemy despite heavy. Artillery firing and 
bombardment by the Fighting Planes. This 
memorable incident is narrated by Col. 
Dhillon under the caption : "The Charge of the 
Immortals " in his Diary, It runs as under : 

"It was flat stretch of land without any 
cover either from view or from fire, except a 
shallow dry pond near which three roads of 
great tactical importance met. Four miles 
North-west of this point was a Hill 1423 feet 
high behind which the enemy Artillery was 
located so as to cover the road junction and 
the area south of it, the occupation of which 
would effect the entire plan of operations. 

"At a key point like this was placed a 
Company of Azad Hind Fauj under the com- 
mand of 2/Lt. Gian Singh Bisht, trained at 
the Officers Training School, Azad Hind Fauj. 
The Company was only ninety-eight strong. 
They had no Machine-guns or even light 


machine-guns. Good old rifles were their only 
weapons of defence or offence apart from two 
A/TK mines. Their orders were to check any 
euemy advance at all costs. 

"They remained in that position for two 
days, but the enemy dared not advance. Then 
on 16th of March 1945, starting early morning 
hostile Fighting Planes bombed and Machine- 
gunned their positions until about 11 a.m. 
Having got rid of all the load they had, aero- 
planes went away. 

"Then the enemy Guns from behind the 
Hill started registering, and behind this barrage 
of Artillery fire advanced a column of motor- 
isecl Infantry consisting of 13 tanks, 11 armour- 
ed cars and 70 trucks. Half of this column 
made its way straight towards the pond where 
two Forward Platoons of the Company were 
in positions. Lead and explosives were being 
thrown out of the Armoured Fighting Vehicles, 
but this would not frighten our boys; they 
waited in their trenches for the infantry to 
debuss. Tanks and armoured cars like steel 
monsters creating hell with their fire-power 
approached so close that they started charging 
on to our trenches so as to crush and cripple 
our men under their heavy weight. Two 
mines were thrown in their way which unlucki- 
ly did not burst, but they caused monsters to 
, which having stopped, became stationary 


pill-boxes oozing out most inhuman forms of 
killing materials. 

"There was no communication between 
this post and the Battalion H.Qrs. when 2/ 
Lieut. Gian Singh appreciated that their Rifles 
fire was no match to the enemy's Mortars, 
Machine-guns, Light Automatics and Hand 
Grenades, and their staying in trenches meant 
certain death or captivity with no loss to the 
enemy; he ordered, "Charge". Leading the as- 
sault he shouted slogans of "Netaji Id Jai"> 
"Inqalab Zindabad" 9 "Azad Hindustan Zinda 
bad" and "Chalo Delhi". All the men responded 
to slogans which echoed above the enemy fire. 
This was the only support which these heroes 
had against the superior armament of the 
enemy. In the name of India and Indian 
Independence, they charged into the enemy 
trucks. The enemy immediately debussed. 
Hand to hand fighting ensued which lasted for 
full two hours, but our heroes would not give 
in ; forty of them sacrificed their lives after 
killing more than their equal number of the 
enemy. Their unconquerable spirit harassed 
the enemy so much that he started retreating. 

"Just then, 2/Lieut. Gian Singh called 
forward his third Platoon Commander 2/Lieut. 
Bam Singh, and was giving out orders when a 
bullet struck on his head and he fell down 
never to give out orders again. 2/Lieut. Bam 


Singh then collected the remnants of the Com- 
pany and reorganized. 

"2/Lieut. Gian Singh Bisht used to tell 
his men that he would die with them; he 
fulfilled his promise and remained their 
comrade in life and death. This was a glorious 
deed, of which the History will remain witness 
as long as there is world. 2/Lieut. Gian Singh 
and his men lived up to the ideals of our great 
Leader the Netaji and have laid down their 
lives fighting by their posts to build up a 
tradition for us to follow, In FREE India 
the spirit of these Heroes, who knew no defeat, 
will be worshipped for generations to come 
and will inspire the future sons of India to live 
up to such high ideals." 


The Indian National Army fought with 
utmost bravery in the most trying circum- 
stances on the field of battle, but it could nob 
make any headway against an enemy numeri- 
cally and technically superior to it with sheer 
courage and high morale alone in the absence of 
proper means of modern warfare and adequate 
resources. Its allies the Japanese, began 
to lose ground after the fall of Matikyina. 
One by one, Meiktila, Mandalay and Maymyo 
fell to the British like ripe fruits, and the end 
seemed not far off. On March 14, 1945 Netaji 
issued a Special Order emphasizing the fact 
that every member of the Azad Hind Fauj 
should regard himself as the Custodian of 
the honour and dignity of the force. After 
a purge, and after the unwilling elements 
had been given an opportunity to leave the 
army, he said that the punishment would 
be death if there was any case of cowardice. 
He declared that "for the members of the 
revolutionary army there is 110 crime more 
heinous than to be a coward . . . Special re- 
wards will be given to those who give inform- 
ation of treacherous elements and those who 
arrest and shoot cowardly elements." 


The end came within sight by the break- 
down of the Soviet-Jap Neutrality Pact in 
April 1945. A special messenger brought 
Netaji's orders to the Fauj to "Retreat" and 
"like small children", says an account, "these 
hefty, brave warriors cried. With broken 
hearfJI they turned their backs on the battle- 
field and retreated. That day none of them 
ate. Was it the beginning of the end ? That 
was the unspoken question on their faces." 

On April 24, 1945, Major Tanaka, Chief 
of the Staff of the Japanese Headquarters at 
Rangoon, and Netaji Subhas left with their 
respective staffs for Bangkok. Before leaving 
Burma for good, Netaji issued the following 
Special Order of tl;e day to his men : 

"Brave officers and men of the Azad 
Hind Fauj ! 

"It is witlva very heavy heart that T am 
leaving Burma the scene of the many heroic 
battles that you have fought since Eabruary 
1945, and are still fighting. In Impfiai and 
Burma, we have lost the first round in our 
Fight for Independence. . But it is only the 
first round. We have m#ny more rounds to 
fight. I am a born optimist and I shall not 
admit defeat under any circumstances. Your 
brave deeds in the battle againt the enemy on 
the plains of Imphal, the hills and jungles of 

114 TflB stoa* o* 

Arakan and the oil- field area and other local- 
ities in Burma will live in the history of our 
struggle for Independence for all times. 

"Comrades ! At this critical hour, I 
have only one word of command to give you, 
and that is that if you have to go down temp- 
orarily, then go down as heroes; go down 
upholding the highest code of honour and 
discipline. The future generations of Indians 
who will be born, not as slaves but as free 
men, because of your colossal sacrifices, will 
bless your names -and proudly proclaim to the 
world that you, their forebears, fought and lost 
the battle in Manipur, Assam and Burma, but 
through temporary failure you paved the way 
to ultimate success and glory. 

"My unshakable faith in India's libera- 
tion remains unaltered. I am leaving in your 
safe hands our National Tricolour, our national 
honour, and the best traditions of Indian 
Warriors. I have no doubt whatsoever that 
you, thfi vanguard of India's army of liberation, 
will sacrifice everything, even life itself, to 
uphold Indians National honour, so that your 
comrades who will continue the fight elsewhere 
may have before them your shining example to 
inspire them at all times. 

"If I had my own way, I would have 
preferred to stay with you in adversity and 


share with you the sorrow of temporary 
defeat. But on the advice of my Ministers 
and high ranking officers, I have to leave 
Burma in order to continue the struggle for 
emancipation. Knowing my countrymen in 
East- Asia and inside India, I can assure you 
that they will continue the fight under all 
circumstances and that all your suffering and 
sacrifice will not be in vain. So far as I am 
concerned, I shall steadfastly adhere to the 
pledge that I took on the 21st of October, 1943, 
to do all in my power to serve the interests of 
38 crores of my countrymen and fight for 
their liberation. I appeal to you, in conclusion 
to cherish the same optimism as myself and to 
believe, like myself, that the darkest hour 
always precedes the dawn. India shall be free 
and before long. 

"May God bless you. Inqalab Zindabad; 
Azad Hind Zindabad. Jai Hind." 

About 7,000 men and officers of the 
Indian National Army were left in Rangoon 
under the command of Col. Loganadan to pro- 
tect life and property of the civilians. The 
Indian Independence League kept on function- 
ing as usual under the leadership of Mr. J. N. 


. During the period between April 24 and 
May 4, 1945 when Rangoon finally surrendered 


to the British, the Indian National Army held 
charge of the town, there was not a single case 
of looting and robbery. On May 5, Brigadier 
Lauder of the 36th Indian Infantry took over 
Rangoon from Col. Loganadan who was assur- 
ed that all the I.N.A. personnel would be 
allowed to return to India as free men and 
women. Their arms and equipment were col- 
lected and they were asked to occupy the 
barracks in the Central and Insein jails at 
Rangoon, which, Brigadier Lauder pointed 
out, should not be considered as such for they 
had been lodged therein only because no other 
accommodation was" available. Col. Logana- 
dan was allowed to retain the command of the 
I.N.A. men and permitted to administer them 
according to the I.N.A. regulations. The 
officers and men were, however, asked to re- 
move the I.N.A. badges, for Brigadier Lauder 
said that since the I.N.A. was not recognised 
by the Allied forces, its officers may not be 
paid due respect by them in the town, and that 
might perhaps lead to any misunderstanding 
or trouble. 

The Indian Independence League was 
also allowed to eiry on its non-political work 
under Mr. Bahaduri and re-open some of the 
dispensaries in the town which had hitherto 
been closed down. The Azad Hind Bank was 
also continue till May 19, 1945, 
when it was taken over by the British. A 



week after that, on May 28, Mr. Bahadur! and 
other leaders were arrested and thus, the roll of 
the Azad Hind Government came to an end. 
The Indian National Army finally surrendered 
on receipt of Netaji's orders to cease fire on 
August 17, 1945. 

Netaji went from Rangoon to Bangkok, 
and from there to Singapore where he stayed 
till August 15, 1945. On the said date Emp- 
eror Hirohito of Japan issued his surrender 
rescript, and Netaji was advised to come over 
to Tokyo for 'transfer to Manchuria where he 
would be safe.' Netaji and his Staff Officer 
Habib-ur-Rehman, therefore, left Singapore in 
a Japanese Army bomber on August 16. He 
arrived at Bangkok next morning and changed 
to another plane in which he flew to Touranoe 
in Indo-China where he spent the night. 
Leaving next morning, the plane broke its 
journey at Taihoku in Formosa where after 
taking off it developed engine trouble, and had 
hardly gained an altitude of 300 feet when it 
nose-dived and crashed. It is reported that 
Netaji, who * was sitting immediately behind 
the pilot... suffering head injury and covered 
with flaming gasoline rushed" from the plane 
trying to rip off his uniform. Rehman, though 
his hands were burning, succeeded in removing 
most of Bose's clothings . . . Bose was con* 
scious for 6 hours until he died. Rehman 
lying in bed next to Bose, was severely burned 

418 THB STORY Off I.N.A. 

about hands and face, but recovered 
sufficiently to leave hospital three weeks later. 
Rehman requested that Bose's body be taken 
<to Tokyo, but the coffin which was Japanese 
prepared was over six feet long and could not 
be taken in plane. Then the body was cre- 
mated at Taihoku on August 22 and Rehman 
took ashes to Tokyo, where Indian community 
held funeral service on September 14 at the 
Renkoji Temple, Suginami.' 

Many people in India, East-Asia and 
Japan suspect the credibility of this report, 
and believe that once again Bose has performed 
his vanishing trick only to come out before the 
world at some opportune moment when things 
are settled down. The view seems to be quite 
plausible for nobody can say tfbr certain that 
Subhas Chandra Bose is dead. 


The story of the brave men and women of 
the Indian National Army who had taken up 
arms for the freedom of India was hardly known 
to any one outside East-Asia before August 1945. 
Rumours about the I.N. A , and the activities 
of Mohan Singh and Subhas Chandra Bose in 
the Far East had,* of course, been buzzing 
about the country right from the time of the 
fall of Singapore, but in the absence of ahy 
substantial evidence very Uttle attention had 
been paid to them by any one. It was in the 
beginning of August that people began to 
whisper about the arrival and detention of 
some thousands of the members of the Azad 
HindPauj in the Bed Fort at Delhi. The 
veil was lifted by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 
almost immediately the war ended. His state- 
ment on the issue appeared on August 20 as 
under : 

"There, is one matter which has been 
paining and troubling me for some time, but 
to which I have made no reference so far, 
because any mention of it might have been 
misunderstood . . . But now that the war has 
ended, there is no such reason for remaining 

120 fHtt STOttV 0* l.K.A. 

silent on that issue. This concerns the 20,000 
or more prisoners in India of the so-called 
Indian National Army which had been formed 
in Malaya and Burma. I was of the opinion 
three years ago, and am still of the opinion that 
the leaders and others of this army had been 
misguided in many ways and had failed to 
appreciate larger consequences of their un- 
fortunate association with the Japanese. 

"Three years ago I was asked in Calcutta 
what I would do if Subhas Bose led an army 
into India on the plea of liberating India ? 1 
replied then that I would not hesitate to resist 
this invasion even though I did not doubt that 
Subhas Bose and his Indian colleagues and 
followers were motivated by the desire to free 
India, and were in no way mere tools of the 
Japanese. Nevertheless they had put them- 
selves on the wrong side and were functioning 
under Japanese auspices. No person could 
come to India in this way under such foreign 
auspices. Therefore, whatever the motive 
behind this people, they had to be resisted in 
India or outside. 

"But the situation has completely 
changed with the end of war. And now a 
very large number of officers and soldiers of 
this Indian National Army, as it is called, are 
prisoners and some of them at least have been 

JAI flltfD 121 

"Though proper information is lacking, 
it is reliably stated that very bad treatment 
is being given to them in prisons and forts 
where they are kept, and many of them live 
in the shadow of death. I do not wish to 
complain to the British for the strict military 
rule. They could plead justification for treat- 
ing with rebels in any way they like. But as 
an Indian and as one representing in this 
respect the views of almost all Indians of 
whatever party or group, I would say that it 
would be a tragedy if these officers and men 
are liquidated by way of punishment. What- 
ever their feelings and mistakes may have been 
in the past, and these were serious, there can 
be no doubt that they are a fine body of 
youngmen taken as a whole, fine officers and 
fine rank and file, and that their dominating 
motive was love for India's freedom. At any 
time it would tiave been wrong to treat them 
too harshly but at this time when it is said 
that big changes are impending in India it 
would be a very grave mistake leading to 
far-reaching consequences if they were treated 
just as ordinary rebels. The punishment given 
to them would in effect be a punishment on 
all Indians and a deep wound would be 
created in millions of hearts. In this matter 
fortunately there is no communal question, for 
these officers and men are Hindus, Muslims and 
Sikhs ... 


"In view of all this, I earnestly trust that 
nothing will be done in regard to these prisoners 
of war which will lead to an additional fester- 
ing sore in India's mind and heart. With the 
end of war the immediate exigency is past, and 
larger considerations should prevail." 

Immediately after this, the I.N.A. ques* 
tion became the topic of the day and public 
opinion became strong in urging the release of 
the men. On August 27, the Government 
issued a Communique in which it declared that 
"the offence of going over to the enemy and 
fighting against his former comrades is the 
most serious offence that a soldier can commit. 
It is punishable with death by the laws of 
almost all countries, and those who have 
committed this offence and been recaptured 
can claim no rights as belligerents or prisoners 
of war. 

"The Government of India feel, however, 
that allowance must be made for the circum- 
stances in which the ranks and file found 
themselves placed after their capture. From 
that date they were in no position to learn 
the truth of the progress of the war or to 
hear any news but false and propagandist 
Japanese or German reports. 

"Some of them were misled by this pro- 
paganda or gave way to pressure or the desire 


for better treatment, and joined the enemy 
with no motives beyond an immediate im- 
provement in their living conditions. Those 
men, therefore, who seem to have been merely 
misguided and they are the majority will be 
treated with clemency. : 

"...There remains a number to whotn, 
if the facts against them are proved to be 
true, it would be wrong to extend the same 
measure of clemency. Among them are some 
who are alleged to have killed their former 
comrades, or to have been responsible for the 
capture or torture of Allied soldiers, and some 
leaders who appear to have consciously embrac- 
ed the Japanese or German cause. 

"For these men there can be no alter- 
native but to allow trial by court martial to 
proceed. They will be allowed to choose 
counsel to represent them, and the trials will 
not be held in camera".. . 

In the meantime the question of the fate 
of the I. N. A. men excited public interest to 
the highest pitch. In this respect Kunwar Sir 
Dalip Singh, a former Judge of the Lahore 
High Court stated to the press on August 30, 
1945: ". . .the fate of the men of the National 
Army ef India might become an extremely 
evil precedent for men who misconceived their* 
duty with the highest of motives. This is a 

124 THl 8TOBT OF I.K.A. 

prospect that might well daunt the hardest 
heart . . . I wish to present to the British 
Government the idea that it is to their interest 
to show mercy to all these men. It might be 
considered presumption on my part to present 
any such issue to the British, for their political 
genius and far-seeing insight is well-kno^n. 
It might well be called, in the vulgar phrase 
'teaching your grandmother to suck eggs/ 
Yet, there are times when the most level-head- 
ed and fair-minded people may be moved by 
resentment to act against their own long-term 
interests, and it is for this reason that I 
venture to place my point of view for considera- 
tion by the authorities* 

". . . Severity shown to any of these mis- 
guided men will, I believe, leave a , legacy of 
hatred in the hearts of a great many Indians. 
I must not be understood not to see that the 
resentment of the British is not unjustifiable. 
To them it must appear that these men have 
bitten the hand that fed them. I have little 
doubt that the British will not shoot or hang 
all the 30,000 men or thereabouts involved, but 
the temptation to select the worst, from the 
British point of view, of these men for exemp- 
lary punishment must be almost irresistible. I 
can only repeat that severity even to one man 
fa likely to be remembered and mercy shown to 
the many is likely to be forgotten. Therefore, I 
would plead for mercy to all without exception../ 


A few days after this statement appeared 
in the press, the Congress Working Committee 
met in Poona and resolved that 'for reasons of 
far-reaching consequences, and in view of the 
termination of the war, it would be a tragedy if 
these officers, men and women were punished 
for the offence of having laboured, however, 
mistakenly for the freedom of India. They 
can be of greatest service in the heavy work of 
building up a new and free India. They have 
already suffered heavily and any additional 
punishment will not only be unjustified but 
will cause sorrow in innumerable homes and to 
the Indian people as a whole, and will widen 
the gulf between India and England. The All 
India Congress Committee, therefore, earnestly 
trusts that these officers and men and women 
in this army will be released. . ." 

Furthermore, the Congress Working Com- 
mittee on September 22, 1945 resolved to 
appoint a Committee for the Defence of the 
officers, men and women of the I.N.A. who 
might be brought up for trial. The Committee 
consisted of a panel of nine senior counsels for 
the Defence. They were: Pandit Jawaharlal 
Nehru, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Bhulabhai 
Desai, Dr. K. N. Katju, Rai Bahadur Badri 
Dass, Asaf Ali, Kan war Sir Dalip Singh, 
Bakhshi Sir tfek Chand, and P. K. Sen. 

The Court Martial of I.N.A. men com- 
menced at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 6, 

124 TOT 8TOBT Of I.H.A. 

prospect that might well daunt the hardest 
heart ... I wish to present to the British 
Government the idea that it is to their interest 
to show mercy to all these men. It might be 
considered presumption on my part to present 
any such issue to the British, for their political 
genius and far-seeing insight is well-kno\pn. 
It might well be called, in the vulgar phrase 
'teaching your grandmother to suck eggs.' 
Yet, there are times when the most level-head- 
ed and fair-minded people may be moved by 
resentment to act against their own long-term 
interests, and it is for this reason that I 
venture to place my point of view for considera- 
tion by the authorities. 

". . . Severity shown to any of these mis- 
guided men will, I believe, leave a , legacy of 
hatred in the hearts of a great many Indians. 
I must not be understood not to see that the 
resentment of the British is not unjustifiable. 
To them it must appear that these men have 
bitten the hand that fed them. I have little 
doubt that the British will not shoot or hang 
all the 30,000 men or thereabouts involved, but 
the temptation to select the worst, from the 
British point of view, of these men for exemp- 
lary punishment must be almost irresistible, I 
can only repeat that severity even to one man 
is likely to be remembered and mercy shown to 
the many is likely to be forgotten, Therefore, I 
would plead for mercy to all without exception../ 


A few days after this statement appeared 
in the press, the Congress Working Committee 
met in Poona and resolved that 'for reasons of 
far-reaching consequences, and in view of the 
termination of the war, it would be a tragedy if 
these officers, men and women were punished 
for the offence of having laboured, however, 
mistakenly for the freedom of India. They 
can be of greatest service in the heavy work of 
building up a new and free India. They have 
already suffered heavily and any additional 
punishment will not only be unjustified but 
will cause sorrow in innumerable homes and to 
the Indian people as a whole, and will widen 
the gulf between India and England. The AH 
India Congress Committee, therefore, earnestly 
trusts that these officers and men and women 
in this army will be released. . ." 

Furthermore, the Congress Working Com- 
mittee on September 22, 1945 resolved to 
appoint a Committee for the Defence of the 
officers, men and women of the I.NJL who 
might be brought up for trial. The Committee 
consisted of a panel of nine senior counsels for 
the Defence. They were: Pandit Jawaharlal 
Nehru, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Bhulabhai 
Desai, Dr. K. N. Katju, Rai Bahadur Badri 
Dass, Asaf Ali, Kanwar Sir Dalip Singh, 
Bakhshi Sir T'ek Chand, and P. K. Sen. 

The Court Martial of LN. A. men com- 
menced at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 5, 

126 THE 8TOBT OF I.N.A. 

1945 in the Ked Fort, Delhi. The accused 

Captain Shah Nawaz Khan, 1/14 Punjab 
Regiment, Captain P. K. Sahgal, 2/10 Baluch 
Regiment, and Lieutenant, G. S. Dhillon, 1/14 
Punjab Regiment. 

The Court Martial consisted of seven 
members. They were: Major General A. B. 
BlaSdand (President), Brigadier A. J. H. Bourke, 
Lt.-Col. C.P. Scott, Lt. Col. T.I. Stevenson, Lt.- 
. Col. Nasir All Khan, Major B. Pritam Singh, 
and Major Banwari Lai. Col. F.C.A. Kerin was 
the Judge-Advocate, and Sir N. P. Engineer 
Advocate-General of India acted as Counsel for 
the Prosecution. 

All the three accused were charged for 
committing the civil offence of waging war 
against the King under Section 121 -A of the 
l.P.C. Captain Dhillon was charged with the 
murder of Hari Singh, Dulichand, Dorai Singh 
and Dharam Singh at or near Popa Hill in 
Burma on or about March 6, 1945, and Captain 
Sahgal was charged with abetting the murder 
of these four men. Captain Shah Nawaz Khan 
was charged with abetting the murder of Gun- 
ner Mohammad Husain on are about March 29, 
1946. All the three I.N.A. officers emphatically 
. answered 'not guilty 9 to all the charges. 


The Prosecution produced documents 
showing that the three officers were in the 
Indian army, that while prisoners of war they 
joined the LN. A., and as its officers waged war 
against the King by invading India, and that 
they ordered execution of five sepoys. Lt. Nag, 
a former member of the I N, A., was the first 
witness who gave evidence about the formation 
of the LN. A., and its activities. In response to 
Bhulabhai Desai's plea for the adjournment of 
the Court for two weeks for having time to pre- 
pare the defence case, the Court Martial resum- 
ed hearing on November 21, 1945. The cross- 
examination of Lt. Nag by Mr. Desai on the 
said date showed that the predominant motive 
of the Azad Hind Government and the IN, A, 
was to free India for the sake of Indians, and 
that they were acting as Allies of Japan as 
equal partners, and in no way subordinate to 
the Japanese Government. 

Twenty-six more prosecution witnesses 
were examined by the Court Martial between 
November, 23 and 30 when it adjourned till 
December 7, as the last prosecution witness 
Lt.-Col. J. A. Kitson, who was then engaged in 
operations in Java, was not available. His 
evidence was essential as the Prosecution 
Counsel stated that when Captain Sahgal sur- 
rendered in April last in Burma, he sent certain 
terms in the note of -surrender to Col. Kitson, 
and they had to be testified in the Court* 


On December 7, Lt.-Col. Kitson, the last 
prosecution witness narrated the story of the 
surrender of Captain Sahgal and hi? men. 
After the conclusion of the prosecution evi- 
dence the three accused made their statements 
before the Court Martial. In his statement 
Captain Shah Nawaz Khan stated : "Bred in 
traditions of loyalty to the British Crown, I 
had known India only through the eyes of 
ybung British officers. When I met Netaji 
and heard his speeches for the first time 
in my life, I saw India through the eyes of 
an Indian... I was deeply impressed by his 
selflessness, his absolute devotion to his 
country, his frankness and his refusal to bow 
before the Japanese wishes. I knew that in 
his hands India's honour was safe. He would 
never barter it for anything in the world. He 
warned all those who stayed in the I.N.A. to be 
prepared to face thirst, hunger, forced marches 
and in the end death. 

"When with my own eyes I saw the en- 
thusiasm of thousands of poverty-stricken 
Indians in the Far East who gave to the I.N.A. 
all that they possessed and whole families 
joined the Azad Hind Fauj and became 'fakirs* 
for the sake of their country, I knew we had 
a real leader and that he, in the name of 
millions of poverty-stricken, unarmed and 
helpless Indians, appealed to us to come for- 
ward and sacrifice our lives for their liberation. 


No honourable Indian could have refused this 
much to him. 

"In joining the LN.A. I was prompted 
only by motives of patriotism. I fought a 
straightforward and honourable fight on the 
battlefield against the most overwhelming 
odds... No mercenary or puppet army could 
have faced hardships as the I.N.A. did who 
fought only for India's independence. I do 
not deny having taken part in the fight, but 
I did so as a member of regular forces of the 
Provisional Government of Free India who 
waged war for the liberation of their country 
according to the rules of civilized warfare." 

Captain Sahgal, who next made his state- 
ment, said : "I deny being guilty of any offence 
with which I have been charged. I also main- 
tain that my trial before this court martial is 
illegal.' 9 Further, in the course of his state- 
ment he said : "I claim that in the fighting 
in the I.N.A., I committed no offence. On the 
other hand, I have served my country to the 
best of my ability. I claim further that I am 
entitled to all the privileges of a prisoner of 


Lt. Dhillon, who followed Captain 
Sahgal, said in his statement that it was at the 
Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, that he 
learned to serve his country above everything 


else. There he read in Chetwood Hall in block 
letters in gold : "The honour, welfare and 
safety of your country comes first, always and 
every time. The comfort, safety and welfare 
of the men you command comes next. Your 
own safety and comfort comes last, always and 
every time." 

" Ever since I read this motto the sense 
of duty towards my country and my men had 
under all circumstances reigned supreme in my 
thoughts. It was with this motto in front of 
me that I served my country as an officer of 
the Indian Army.. . 

" I am further advised that in point of 
law my trial by the Court Martial is illegal. 
I joined the I.N.A. with the best and purest of 
motives. As a member of the I.N.A. I was 
able to help a number of prisoners of war with 
money and materials. The I.N.A. was able to 
protect life, property and honour of Indians 
residing in the Far East." 

From December 8 to 13 the Defence 
witnesses were examined by the Court Martial. 
The prominent witnesses were Mr. Subro Ohta 
of the Japanese Foreign office, Major-General 
Kata Kura, the Chief of Staff of Japanese 
General Headquarters, Mr. Benza Sawada the 
Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
Mr. T. Hachiya, who was appointed Ambas- 


sador to the Provisional Government of Azad 
Hind at Rangoon by the Nippon Government, 
Mr. S. A. Aiyar, the Propaganda Minister of the 
the Azad Hind Government, and Lt.-Col. 
Loganadan, the Chief Commissioner of Anda- 
man Islands appointed by the Azad Hind 
Government. They all tried to explain the 
validity of the Provisional Government of 
Azad Hind and the role of the LN. A. 

The Court adjourned for four days after 
the conclusion of the Defence Evidence. 

Mr. Bhulabhai Desai, the Chief Defence 
Counsel delivered his closing address on 
December 17 and 18 keeping the audience spell- 
bound with the irresistible logic with which he 
had built up the defence. He spoke for about 
ten hours. He began : " During the last many 
days you have heard evidence on the two 
charges with which my clients, the accused 
before you, have been arraigned. Shortly 
stated, the two charges are waging war against 
the King and, without detailing anything, 
murder and abetment of murder, in that cer- 
tain deserters were tried and ordered to be shot. 
My submission to the Court is that substan- 
tially there is really one charge before the Court, 
because in so far as the charge of murder is 
concerned it is a part of the first charge ; and 
I say so for this reason that it would be quite 
possible, in the case of a charge of waging war 

132 THB 8TOEY OF I.K.A. 

against the King, to be able to charge every 
single act of firing a shot, which would be, I 
think, reducio ad absurdem ; and therefore, it 
will be my duty later on to point out to the 
Court that really and truly there is only one 
charge before the Court, and that is waging war 
against the King/' 

Mr. Desai then addressing the Court said 
that " this case has naturally aroused a consi- 
derable amount of public interest. It is not 
for me to say whether it is right or not, but the 
fact remains that it is so, and opinions have been 
expressed from the point of view of the public 
and from the point of view of what I might 
call ' official sources 9 beginning with the 
Viceroy of India." 

Concluding his opening remarks he said 
that he would categorically state the conclu- 
sions of fact and then proceed to explain the 
law. He asked the Court to ask him to go 
into the details of evidence if, they consi- 
dered it necessary. There were 250 pages of 

evidence and about 150 pages of exhibits. 


Proceeding Mr. Desai gave a brief history 
the formation of the I. N. A., and other 
important events in that connection. Coming 
to the conclusion he said: " The first conclusion 
of fact which we ask this Court to accept, is, 
that the Provisional Government of Free India 


was formally established and proclaimed." He 
then read out the Poclamation of the Azad 
Hind Government. "It is also in evidence 
before the Court ", said Mr. Desai, " that the 
Indian Independence League became the 
executive of the Provincial Government which 
organized, so far as it was possible to do in 
those walike conditions, the care of the people 
who owed allegiance to it. In the month of 
June 1944, as the evidence is quite clear, it 
is also in the Exhibit in Malaya alone, 
230,000 persons actually took written Oaths 
of Allegiance to the Government. . . That is 
the reason why I suggest that the Provisional 
Government was an organized Government... 

" Then, Sir, the next fact which I sub- 
mit is established before the Court, is that 
this Government was recognized by the Axis 
powers. . . The next fact which I submit is 
established is that this State had an army 
which was properly organized, having its own 
distinctive badges and emblems. I am obliged 
to the Prosecution in this matter for I was 
spared the necessity of having to prove this 
proposition. They put in document after 
document to show that the Indian National 
Army was properly organised. First, that it was 
regulated by an Indian National Army Act.*. 

"The next important fact which I think 
must be mentioned is, that the Indian National 


Army was formed with two purposes. The 
main purpose was the securing of the liberation 
of India. . . The other object also was, which 
was somewhat subordinate but useful purpose, 
the protection such as could be afforded to 
the Indian inhabitants of Burma and Malaya, 
particularly during the days when law and 
order in those parts of the country was poorly 
looked after, the lives and the honour and the 
property of the people was not quite so easily 
protected. . . 

Then about the resources of the Azad 
Hind Government, Mr. Desai stated : "It has 
. been proved before the Court that some 20 crores 
of rupees were in fact donated to the State 
out of which was maintained the civil govern- 
ment and the army. Mr. Dina Nath, who 
impressed this Court, gave extremely clear 
evidence on this head. He was one of the 
Directors of the Azad Hind Bank and he told 
the Court that between Burma and Malaya, 
during that short period of time, the State had 
resources to the tune of 20 crores of rupees, in 
addition to the produce of Ziawadi ... What 
I am saying is that in so far as the resousces 
of the State were concerned, they were full 
and adequate for the purpose which the new 
State had then in view." 

Mr. Desai then argued at length the main 
point whether the Azad Hind Government was 


entitled to make war for the purpose of libe- 
ration of the country. He said that Section 
79 of the l.P.C. laid down that * nothing is an 
offence which is done by any person who is 
justified by law.' Thus anything permissible 
under international law could not bo treated 
as a civil offence. He claimed that " any war 
made for the purpose of liberating oneself from 
a foreign yoke is completely justified by moral 
and international law." He further submitted 
that international law recognized an interme- 
diate stage that of an army of insurgents 
carrying on war in anticipation of independent 
statehood and the accused had definitely 
reached that stage. The case of the the I.N.A. 
contended Mr. Desai, was even stronger and 
any action against them would be a breach of 
international law. The Prosecution Counsel 
wanted him to tell the Court what the German 
view was of the matter. Marshal Keitel had 
declared that the Maquis were not entitled to 
protection of internationl law. Mr. Desai 
vigorously commented : " I take my stand 
on the American and British view as ex- 
presssed by General Eisenhower. My friend 
the Prosecution Counsel is welcome to take his 
stand on the German view." 

He added: " The British civilized instinct 
has recognized that if a struggle for freedom is 
waged, then it is right that the privileges and 
immunities to the fighting armies be conceded." 


As regards the relation of the Azad Hind 
Government with the Japs, Mr. Desai stated 
"Where was the question of the I.N.A. being 
an instrument in the hands of the Japanese ? 
It was they (the Japanese) who undertook to 
assist in liberating India and hand over all 
liberated areas to the Provisional Government. 
. . . The Japanese might be helping with a 
view to improving their prospects of trade in 
India on which they relied for maintaining 
their standard of living. So far as the I.N.A. 
was concerned it was a genuine war of indepen- 
dence for them as a result of the successful 
termination of which they expected their free- 
dom. 51 i Further, he contended that the Japane- 
se witness in reply to the Prosecution Counsel's 
question had made it clear that the freedom of 
India was one of the war aims of the Japanese. 
The whole cross-examination had crashed to 
the ground on account of this reply. 

Resuming his address on December 18, 
Mr. Desai read from the American Declaration 
of Independence of July 4, 1776, extracts 
stating that men were equal by God and were 
entitled to liberty, and that if any Government 
became destructive of this end, it was the right 
of the people to abolish such a Government. 
There was before the American people a con- 
flict between allegiance to the King and alle- 
giance to their country, and they chose allegian- 
ce to their country in preference to allegiance 


to a foreign King. It was because of that 
resolve to be independent that America had 
become strong and saved the civilized world in 
the last war. Mr. Desai said: "If this illustra- 
tion is not going to be respected, justice will be 
denied completely. " By quoting several witness- 
es Mr. Desai further contended that the I.N. A. 
was started only for gaining the freedom of 
India, that its officers and men were prepared 
to fight anybody, including the Japanese if the 
latter stood in the way of India's freedom. 

Further, as regards the status of the 
I.N.A., Mr. Desai stated. "Apart from what 
you may call the general higher strategy, the 
Indian National Army was completely indepen- 
dent. And though I am not anticipating a 
point which it will be my duty to /argue, name- 
ly, whether or not the question arose that people 
joined*the I.N.A. because they might be worse 
off as prisoners of war, the less said about it 
the better. The evidence clearly shows that the 
only ration that the I.N.A. had apart from 
sugar and oil which was nominal, was rice, and 
that was the luxury which attracted men to 
the I.N.A. The question really is that one set 
of men believed in a cause and the other set of 
men either from supineness or otherwise did 
not, and nobody ever gave thought to the ques- 
tion as to whether one would be better off or 
not. One thing is quite certain; that apart 
from what actually happened by the conduct of 


the Japanese, those who joined the I.N.A. were 
certainly facing the possibilities which every 
soldier has to face, unless he wishes to avoid it, 
which prisoners of war could, namely, fighting 
With the opponent army." 

"The next point", he said, "is, that the 
I.N.A. was a purely voluntary army, and, not- 
withstanding the attempt made, the Prosecution 
entirely failed to prove that it was not volunt- 
ary, 'because from time to time it has been 
proved before this Court by the speeches made 
by the accused and Sri Subhas Chandra Bose, 
which indicate that at every stage opportunity 
was given to every member of the I.N.A. to 
withdraw if he chose to do so;" 

Next he dealt with the allegation of 
torture inflicted on prisoners to make them join 
the I.N.A. He analysed the evidence of several 
prosecution witnesses to show that in one case 
the scuffle was the result of refusal by prisoners 
to do fatigue duty, in another case it was due 
to stealing and killing of a cow and in the third 
it was due to an act of indiscipline . . . "In none 
of these cases", said he, "was any punishment, 
much less torture, practised due to any one's 
refusal to join the I.N.A." 

As regards the alleged shooting of four 
other persons, Mr. Desai submitted that his 
case was that the sentences were never carried 


out. He further submitted that there were 
similar cases in which the sentences were not 
executed and the accused were pardoned. He 
pleaded that there should be no presumption in 
law against his clients merely because the 
orders were passed and the minimum that he 
.wanted from the court was that they should 
say that there was a reasonable doubt about 
the sentences having been carried out. In that 
case he asked the Court to give the benefit of 
doubt to his clients. 

Further, he argued that even if the alleged 
offence was committed, it was no offence 
because no personal liability was attached to 
acts done in due prosecution of war under the 
provisions of the I.N.A. 

In the end summing up the main points 
which he had made before the Court, Mr. Desai 
said that the .three men had been a part of a 
regular army of a regularly formed government 
and were entitled to privileges of belligerents 
and were not governed by municipal laws but 
by international law. Ifr was not correct to 
state that the Court Martial was not concerned 
with international law because section 79 laid 
down that acts committed under any 'law' 
were not punishable and the * word 'law* includ- 
ed recognised principles of international law. 

After Mr. Desai's address the Counsel for 
Prosecution requested the Court for time to 


prepare his closing address. The Court, there- 
fore, adjourned till December 22, 1945. 

The Prosecution Counsel on the said 
date submitted in his address that all the 
accused had been proved beyond any reason- 
able doubt, and that there was no defence in 
law to the charges against the accused. "So 
far as the Court is concerned," he said, " its 
hands are tied in the matter of punishment. 
The minimum punishment which this court 
can give is transportation for life, if the court 
findings are against the accused, but if the 
court feels on the evidence before it that the 
case is a fit one for mitigation of punishment 
ment, it is open to the court to add a rider to 
its findings and sentence to that effect for the 
consideration of the confirming officer." 

At the request of the Judge- Advocate, 
the court adjourned until December 29, when 
the Judge- Advocate summed up the case. 

On January 3, 1946 a Press Communique 
announced : 

"Captain Shah Nawaz Khan, Captain 
Sahgal and Lieut. Dhillon have stood their trial 
by Court Martial on charges against all three of 
waging war against the King-Emperor. .. The 
' findings of the court are that all three are 
guilty of the charge of waging waj, while ( 


Captain Shah Nawaz Khan is also convicted 
of the charge of abetment of murder. Lieut. 
Dhillon is acquitted of the charge of murder 
and Captain Sahgal of the charge of abetment 
of murder. 

"Having found the accused guilty of the 
charge of waging war, the Court was bound to 
sentence the accused either to death or to 
transportation for life, no lesser sentence was 
permissible under the law... The confirming 
officer is, however, competent to mitigate, 
commute or remit the sentences. .." 

In view of the above the Commander-in- 
Chief decided to remit the sentence of trans- 
portation for life against all the three accused. 
He, however, confirmed the sentences of 
cashiering and forfeiture of arrears of pay and 

On the same evening the three officers of 
the I.N.A. were set free from the Red Fort. 

Immediately on their relejaeeutfee^ajd offi- 
cers issued a joint 
that this has been a 
Throughout the trial we^feltnat 
only being tried at the par (of a 
martial, but also at the{ fa 
opinion. It has been 
joy to us that the Indie 
ciated our work in the 

142 THE 8TOBY OF I.N.A. 

"We have always maintained that our 
fight outside India was a part of the struggle for 
Indian Independence which was going on inside 
India. In our small way we have tried and served 
India to the best of our ability. We took a 
pledge before our Netaji, our Supreme Com- 
mander, to fight for our country's freedom and 
to dedicate our lives for that noble cause. Our 
lives belong to Mother India and we shall 
carry on our struggle for Indian Independence 
under the leadership of the Congress. 

"At the end we want to convey our 
heartful thanks to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, 
Mr. Bhulabhai Desai, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, 
Dr. Katju, Mr. Asaf AH and others for their 
efforts in conducting our case and other cases 
of the l.N.A. In this direction our work is 
not yet finished. Thousands of our comrades 
are still behind the bars. We shall devote 
.ourselves to the task of achieving their release 
as early as possible." 



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